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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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Guitar Slinger CD review - Guitar Slinger
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These Days CD review - These Days
To put this release into perspective, it would take Axl Rose the better half of a century to issue the same amount of material. Fortunately, Vince Gill is about as prolific as they come these days, and this daring four-disc release only is further proof of that. Each disc is divvied up depending on his mood, with the opening "Working On A Big Chill" album being "The Rockin' Record." And this album sets things off right with the lovely mid-tempo and groovy title track. »»»
Next Big Thing
Vince Gill has nothing to be bitter about in the face of his declining success. His mantle groans with over a dozen Grammys and a boatload of CMA statues, and then there's the matter of 22 million in sales over the course of his career. If the massive hits are fewer and farther between, it's onlynatural in an industry that's always looking toward a youthful fire to stokeits furnace. And that's essentially the message that Gill sends with The Next Big Thing. On the choogling roadhouse romp of the »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: For McCoury, Grisman, music still matters – One condenser microphone, a music stand, a mandolin, rhythm guitar and more than 100 years of bluegrass experience: that's all David Grisman and Del McCoury need to put on a show. It's quite a show, too. The artists' backstories are well known: McCoury was a logger in Lancaster County, Pa., who came to New York City to see Bill... »»»
Concert Review: Ely wears well – Joe Ely is the prototypical rambler. It comes through in his music and in his life. There are lots of elements in the music about travels, riding the rails, small town scenery and getting away from it. In fact, after playing "I'm Gonna Strangle You Shorty" as the first song of his encore, Ely opined, "The only thing I got out of... »»»
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