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#19: 50 Greatest Steel Guitarists (in alphabetical order)
Maurice-Anderson
1. Maurice Anderson - He pioneered the "Universal" single neck tuning and was known for his beautiful jazz playing. He was also the "A" in the MSA steel guitar company. youtube video
Bobby-Black
2. Bobby Black - Northern California living legend. Made his reputation with Commander Cody. youtube video
Noel-Boggs
3. Noel Boggs - Southern California player known for his big chordal style. He played with Spade Cooley and Tex Williams. youtube video
Tom-Brumley
4. Tom Brumley - Wonderful clean player who made his reputation with Buck Owens, and later played with Rick Nelson. youtube video
Jerry-Byrd
5. Jerry Byrd - The greatest non pedal player. Played on some Hank Williams' recordings. Spent his last thirty years playing in Hawaii. youtube video
Gary Carter
6. Gary Carter - Wonderful current player who can be seen on Marty Stuart's TV show. youtube video
Curley-Chalker
7. Curley Chalker - Probably the best musician to ever play the steel. He attacked the steel and played his own style of jazz . C6 - youtube video E9 - youtube video
Buddy-Charleton
8. Buddy Charleton - He travelled the country with the Texas Troubadours wowing the crowds with his beautiful playing on both necks. youtube video
Jimmy-Crawford
9. Jimmy Crawford - Great "chicken picker" who backed up many Nashville stars. youtube video Also see Russ Hicks' video.
Maurice-Anderson
10. Terry Crisp - Unsung player who played with Ricky Skaggs & Reba McEntire among others. youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
11. Randall Currie - Plays with Brad Paisley. Probably the best young player around. Randall at 5:15 in: youtube video

Sonny-Curtis
12. Sonny Curtis - Played with George Jones for many years. youtube video
Jimmy-Day
13. Jimmy Day - Jimmy & Buddy Emmons developed many of the changes for the E9 tuning while playing with Ray Price and others. youtube video
Pete-Drake
14. Pete Drake - Was the most commercial Nashville session man during the 1960s. Here's a video of him demonstrating the "talking guitar:" youtube video
Bob-Dunn
15. Bob Dunn - The first hot electric steel player. Said to be influenced by clarinet players of the day. youtube video
Buddy-Emmons
16. Buddy Emmons - Considered the greatest pedal steel player. He did it all. youtube video 1 youtube video 2
Paul-Franklin
17. Paul Franklin - The number one Nashville session man for the last thirty years. Also toured with Dire Straits. youtube video
Bobby-Garrett
18. Bobby Garrett - Wonderful Texas player who played with Charlie Walker, Dewey Groom and Hank Thompson among others. Famous for the instrumental "Rose City Chimes." youtube video
Sonny-Garrish
19. Sonny Garrish - Made his mark with Bill Anderson's "Po' Boys" before becoming a Nashville session man. youtube video
Lloyd-Green
20. Lloyd Green - A leading Nashville session man in the '60s & '70s who would come up with different styles to suit his artists. Also known for his wonderful instrumental albums. youtube video
Don-Helms
21. Don Helms - Hank Williams' steel man. youtube video
Billy-Hew-Len
22. Billy Hew Len - Wonderful Hawaiian player in spite of not having a left hand. Watch the video!
Russ-Hicks
23. Russ Hicks - Played with Barefoot Jerry & teamed up with Jimmy Crawford on a couple of chicken pickin' albums. youtube video
Sol-Hoopii
24. Sol Hoopii - The first virtuoso Hawaiian steeler. youtube video
John-Hughey
25. John Hughey - Beautifully expressive player. Made his reputation with Conway Twitty & Vince Gill. youtube video
Bud-Isaacs
26. Bud Isaacs - In 1955 Bud invented the pedal changes that lead to the E9 tuning that is still used today. youtube video
Doug-Jernigan
27. Doug Jernigan - Hot Nashville picker for over 40 years. youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
28. Mike Johnson - One of the best modern players in Nashville. youtube video
David-Kelii
29. David Keli'i - Master player who was the original steeler with "Hawaii Calls" from 1935-1952.
Sneaky-Pete-Kleinow
30. Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Had his own style and sound, and made his reputation with the Flying Burrito Brothers. Sneaky was also a TV animator. youtube video
David-Lindley
31. David Lindley - His non pedal style with Jackson Browne was later embraced by Nashville as the way to play modern country rock. youtube video
JayDee-Maness
32. Jay Dee Maness - The first call in L.A. Jay Dee is one of the most soulful and interesting players around. youtube video
Leon-McAuliffe
33. Leon McAuliffe - Bob Wills' original steeler for many years and then lead his own bands. youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
34. Dick McIntire - Dick and his brother Lani were Hawaiian music royalty. youtube video
Ralph-Mooney
35. Ralph Mooney - Ralph helped define the sound of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and later Waylon Jennings. His playing defined the "West Coast sound." youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
36. Jim Murphy - Wonderful player on both necks and then he'd pick up his sax and blow bebop. youtube video
Joaquin-Murphy
37. Joaquin Murphy - The hottest jazzy player of the 1940s into the '50s. He played with Spade Cooley and Tex Williams. youtube video
Weldon-Myrick
38. Weldon Myrick - Nashville session man for 25 years who had beautiful tone and execution. youtube video
Jeff-Newman
39. Jeff Newman - Excellent player who chose to become the consummate steel guitar teacher. He put on clinics and recorded many teaching LPs. youtube video
Gene-ONeil
40. Gene O'Neal - Played with Charlie Pride until his untimely death. youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
41. Dickie Overbey - Wonderful Texas player whose career has had a renaissance in the last fifteen years. youtube video
Maurice-Anderson
42. Steve Palousek - Prodigious player, who's finally getting recognition. youtube video
Robert-Randolph-CD
43. Robert Randolph - Great rock player who came out of the church to become the "Jimi Hendrix of the steel guitar." youtube video
Herb-Remington
44. Herb Remington - Herb played with many great western swing bands, including Bob Wills', and wrote "Remington Ride." youtube video
Kayton-Roberts
45. Kayton Roberts - Beautiful non pedal player known for his harmonics, who played with Hank Snow. youtube video
Hal-Rugg
46. Hal Rugg - Great Nashville session man primarily known for his beautiful playing with Loretta Lynn. youtube video
Mike-Smith
47. Mike Smith - Great player in the Phoenix area who chose not to stay in Nashville. Also known for his early collaborations with Paul Franklin. youtube video
Vance-Terry
48. Vance Terry - Vance was a prodigy who played with Billy Jack Wills in the early '50s. youtube video
Speedy-West
49. Speedy West - Very original West Coast session man who made his reputation playing hot duets with Jimmy Bryant. youtube video
Tommy-White
50. Tommy White - Grand Ole Opry steeler who's one of the best of the new breed. youtube video
Could Easily Be Listed Above:
  • Stu Basore
  • Randy Beavers
  • Terry Bethel
  • Bruce Bouton
  • Rocky Caple
  • Tommy Detamore
  • Johnny Cox
  • Milo Deering
  • Ron Elliott
  • Buzz Evans
  • Santo Farina
  • Wayne Gailey
  • Marion Hall
  • Norm Hamlet
  • Barney Isaacs
  • Bobby Koeffer
  • Jim Loessberg
  • Tom Morrell
  • Gary Morse
  • Ray Noren
  • Russ Pahl
  • Al Perkins
  • Rick Price
  • Buck Reid
  • Randy Reinhardt
  • Alvino Rey
  • Bert Rivera
  • Eddie Rivers
  • Billy Robinson
  • Larry Sasser
  • Johnny Siebert
  • Danny Stewart
  • Freddie Tavares
  • Travis Toy
  • Robbie Turner
  • Jim Vest
  • Jeremy Wakefield
  • Bob White
  • Pee Wee Whitewing
  • Little Roy Wiggins
  • Rusty Young
These lists are very subjective and I know I've omitted many fine and deserving steelers. I don't mean to offend anyone. Sorry if your guy/gal wasn't included.





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