My first big time Nashville gig

I was in Nashville around 1977 looking for a gig and hanging around with the Texas Troubadours when Lynn Owsley told me Stonewall Jackson might be needing a steel player.

Texas TroubadoursI was in Nashville around 1977 looking for a gig and hanging around with the Texas Troubadours when Lynn Owsley told me Stonewall Jackson might be needing a steel player. Stonewall’s next gig was the Ralph Emery TV Show on Channel 4 the next morning. The show was live at, like, 5am or something, and Lynn said he’s meet me there, introduce me to ‘Wall, and help me get ready for a live TV spot. Wow! What a guy! How many guys would do that, huh?

I was staying at a Day’s Inn off Trinity Lane with a couple other Troubadours, and I stayed up all night, because I knew I could never get up that early.

Stonewall Jackson and band
That's me, upper left
So, at the WSM TV studio, Lynn, who’d worked for Stonewall before, helped me get set up, gave me an idea of the arrangements for the songs Stonewall was going to do, and watched as I did my best on live TV. Everything went pretty well, I guess, since Stonewall asked me to go out on the next road trip with him. Damn, I was a Nashville steel guitar star! When we got back from that first road trip I did the Opry with him, and I figured my future was assured.

Of course, you have to be in the Musicians’s Union to do TV, and I wasn’t a member, so Lynn took me down to the Union after the show and got me all signed up. Johnny DeGeorge was the guy to see at the time, and as he was looking over my application he mentioned that he’d watched the Emery show that morning. Luckily, he didn’t seem to remember seeing me, which was a good thing, so I got all signed up and was now an Official Nashville Cat, and a Minitman, at that.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form. http://www.caligraphicsdesign.com/contact/

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