Sign up for newsletter
 

Pedal steel player Ben Keith dies at 73

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – Ben Keith, a longtime sideman to Neil Young on pedal steel, died at age 73.

Keith died of a heart attack while on Young's northern California ranch, according to the Los Angeles Times. Young mentioned Keith's death during a concert July 26 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Keith played on Patsy Cline's I Fall to Pieces.

He was born in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1937 and became a session player in Nashville for many years. Among those he played with live or in the studio were Emmylou Harris Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, Ringo Starr and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Keith produced Jewel's 1995 debut, "Pieces of You."

Keith met Young in 1971 during work on his "Harvest" recording because Young needed a pedal steel player. Keith played on more than a dozen albums and tours with Young.

Neil Young News, a blog dedicated to Young, said "Legend has it that Neil asked bassist Tim Drummond if he knew any pedal-steel players in town. Tim contacted Ben, who lived in town and off he went to the studio: "I didn't know who anyone was, so I asked, who's that guy over there?" and was told "that's Neil Young".

More news for Neil Young

CD reviews for Neil Young

Americana CD review - Americana
It is understandable that fans might anticipate a stripped-down, acoustic guitar-driven affair with plenty of harmonica when they learn that Neil Young's new album is largely a collection of traditional American folk songs. But then you throw in the fact that Young is backed by the powerhouse rock trio Crazy Horse for the first time in nine years, and those expectations go straight out the window. Young generally recruits the talents of Crazy Horse's three members - Ralph Molina, »»»
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: Making perfect sense of Striking Matches, The Secret Sisters – The pairing of Striking Matches and The Secret Sisters on tour makes perfect sense. Both are duos, although the Matches are male/female and the Secrets truly are sisters (Rogers is the name, not Secret). Both emphasize keen vocal interplay. And perhaps most importantly, they shared a very famous producer, T Bone Burnett. But when it came to the live... »»»
Concert Review: Whitehorse changes gears – Whitehorse, the Canadian husband-and-wife duo of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, has changed gears. In years past, they were more on the roots side, but you would have scratched your head wondering where that went during their show at what is billed as a folk club. Only Whitehorse couldn't be accused of being folk oriented either in a tour... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Thanks to Wills, AATW remains the king After over 40 years of touring and recording as the founder, lead guitar and front-man for Western Swing music's standard-bearers, Asleep At The Wheel, Ray Benson has a lot of irons in the fire these days. In fact, with his TV show Texas Music Scene a hit throughout the southwestern U.S. and touring in support of AATW's new release, "Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys," he is as busy now as ever.... »»»
Pug turns writer's block into "Windfall" In his life and career, Joe Pug has never done anything halfway. So when Pug experienced a crippling lack of creative inspiration after his punishing road schedule to promote 2012's "The Great Despiser," he didn't consider the possibility of taking a short break. Joe Pug was on the verge of throwing in the towel.... »»»
Giddens takes her turn A great deal has transpired in the 10 years between Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson connecting at North Carolina's Black Banjo Gathering and the release of Giddens' brilliant debut solo album, "Tomorrow is My Turn." Giddens and Flemons formed the very successful Sankofa Springs. Robinson met and was mentored by black string band legend Joe Thompson, and ultimately, Giddens, Flemons and Robinson formed the bluegrass/folk/blues powerhouse, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. ... »»»