John Hughey, steel player for Gill, Twitty, dies
Monday, November 19, 2007
– Long-time steel guitar player for Vince Gill and Conway Twitty, John Hughey, died Sunday night, Nov. 18 in Nashville at 73.
Hughey, a native of Elaine, Ark., got his first guitar - a Gene Autry model from Sears - when he was nine. In the seventh grade, he became friends with classmate Harold Jenkins, who would later adopt the name Conway Twitty.
Hughey persuaded his father to buy him a lap steel after hearing Little Roy Wiggins, Eddy Arnold's steel player. While still in high school, he and Jenkins formed the Phillips County Ramblers and briefly starred in their own radio show on a small local station.
In 1953, Hughey joined Slim Rhodes & The Mother's Best Mountaineers of Memphis. For the next several years, Hughey alternated between playing in Rhodes's band and performing in nightclubs.
In 1968, Hughey joined Twitty's band. Hughey toured and recorded with Twitty for the next 20 years. After that, he worked with Loretta Lynn for nearly 2 years before joining Gill's band, where he remained for 12 years.
He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1996. In recent years, he was a member of the Time Jumpers, a band of studio and touring musicians that plays each Monday night at Nashville's Station Inn bluegrass club.
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