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The Steel Guitar Special

Updated: May 29, 2023

As promised, here is the playlist, and our notes for The Steel Guitar Special, a show that aired the first week of August 2022.


1. This Ain’t The Blues- Speedy West- He is believed to be the first o play the pedal steel in country music. He also produced and played on Loretta’s first record and was part of Capitol Record’s house band. He played on the recordings of everyone from Bing Crosby to Wanda Jackson, Moon Mullican, and Johnny Horton. Speedy was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.



2. Crazy Arms- Ray Price

Some very interesting facts on this song. For starters, it was first published in 1949 by acclaimed pedal steel musician Ralph Mooney. The song helped establish Ray Price’s new Texas shuffle honky tonk sound. Playing on that song was the great Buddy Emmons who was part of Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys band.

Ralph Mooney


The Big E: Buddy Emmons


3. Cold Cold Heart- Hank Williams:

Don Helms on Steel. We can hear him most notably on Patsy Cline's hit “Walking After Midnight, and Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil”


4. Lost In The Feeling- Conway Twitty.

Hands down my favorite Conway song. It really showcases the soaring steel sound that John Hughey popularized. That style can also be heard on Vince Gill's Look At Us.

John Hughey's styled "crying steel" method of playing is created by using the higher ranges of the instrument. Of this solo, Gill said that it "makes that song recognizable by what happens before any words even get sung."

John Hughey


5. Walk Through This World- George Jones-

It's Tom Killen on Steel in the live album. A 30+ years member of George's band The Jones Boys.


6. Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down- Merle Haggard

Playing on this one is Norm Hamlett, Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in Sacramento, California and a Steel Guitar Hall of Fame inductee.


7. Forever- Pete Drake- a highly sought after Nashville session musician in his own right. He played on one of my all time favorite Charlie Rich songs Behind Closed Doors. Pete was the son of a Georgia pentecostal preacher. I knew I'd find church in there somewhere. :)

This song sold over a million copies and was very unique due to the modulation Pete used through a voice box, remember Peter Frampton? Same thing but with a pedal steel in 1964..


8. Bob Wills Is Still The King-Waylon Jennings.

Waylon wrote the song around 1974 a fan favorite for sure. It was the b side of Are You Sure Hank Done It That Way.. What you might not know is that Ronnie Wood guitarist for the Rolling Stones is playing pedal steel on the song..yes y’all.. wow..


Ronnie Wood


9. Hickory Wind- The Byrds

California Country comes to Nashville

as the song, and it's corresponding album were recorded at the Columbia Records Studio in Music City. On Steel: LLoyd Green originally from the Mississippi Valley was a highly regarded session player, and worked with everyone from Johnny Paycheck to Alan Jackson, and let's throw in Bob Dylan for good measure. He also plays on another pick Tammy Wynette's Crying Steel Guitar.


10. Burnt The Sawmill Down-Aaron Lewis with a song written by Keith Whitley that was never released as a single.

11. The One You Go Home To- Chris Shifflitt-

12. Too Cold At Home-Mark Chesnutt

ALL are Paul Franklin's handy work!

Paul Franklin


13. Down Here- Turnpike Troubadours with their lead guitarist Ryan Engleman on Steel circa 2005 from their self titled album.


13. Best of My Love- Eagles with Al Perkins on Steel. The Gibson Guitar company called Perkins "the world's most influential dobro player" and began producing an "Al Perkins Signature" Dobro in 200. From Texas, Al began playing the steel when he was eight years old. He moved to California and started working with fellow Texan Don Henley. Al is a multiple Grammy winner and also an inductee in the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

=============Honorable Mentions===================

  • Mosquito Hop- Chris Templeton from the 2013 release The Tapper

  • Beggar To A King- Hank Snow with Buford Gentry on Steel.(1961)

  • Drinking Alone-Dustin Sonnier with Lane Thibodeaux on Steel. Lane played on the Grammy winning Legends album by Jo-ell Sonnier. He was also the 2017 Texas Country Music Association Steel guitar Player of the Year.

  • Borrowed Angel-Mo Pitney w/ Mike Johnson

  • Pan Handle Rag- Leon McAuliffe played w/ the Light Crust Dough Boys, and Bob Wills. He also cowrote San Antonio Rose, and played on Patsy’s Faded Love. He was better known as a swing guitarist.

Leon McAuliffe


  • I hope You’re Crying Too- Herb Remmington who replaced Leon Mcauliffe when he exploded w/ Panhandle Rag

  • She Found The Key-Lefty Frizzell, and Baby Blue- George Strait are blessed with amazing Steel by Weldon Wyrick

  • Always Late- Lefty Frizzell Steel by Curly Chalker


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