Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Country jazz

Columbia/Epic
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Curly Chalker’s Dutch-Only 45: Party Game for Steel Fanatics

Zero to 180’s summertime celebration breezes right along with this parlor game for music nerds: First, launch a new web browser and point it at 45Cat — www.45cat.com(go ahead, I’ll wait) Next, type the name of ace steel guitarist, Curly Chalker, in the search window(and press Enter) Curly Chalker  (c.

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Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys
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Gary Burton’s Tennessee Firebird

Jimmy Colvard was a teen in 1963 when he played those distinctive snapping and popping guitar sounds that helped make “Six Days on the Road” a runaway hit for Dave Dudley.  I have since learned that Colvard played guitar on a number of albums in the 1960s and 70s by

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Cherokee Cowboys: Proven Band

Thanks to the late, great Charlie Coleman for singling out Ray Price’s redoubtable backing band, The Cherokee Cowboys and their 1965 Columbia debut (and sole) solo release – check out Buddy Emmons’ hot jazz steel guitar solo on “Devil’s Dream,” the kick-off tune from Western Strings: “Devil’s Dream”     The Cherokee

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"Four Wheel Drive"
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Zero to Infinity: Buddy Emmons

This week we said goodbye to Buddy Emmons, one of the world’s great musicians and subject of three prior Zero to 180 pieces.  Here is but a *45-second live demonstration (beginning to end) of Buddy Emmons’ singular genius with the pedal steel guitar: “Four Wheel Drive” (live)     Buddy Emmons    

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Roy Lanham: Country Meets Jazz

Yesterday’s piece about Noel Boggs made reference to Roy Lanham, who would later play guitar in the Sons of the Pioneers to pay the bills, yet sought much more fulfilling challenges in his own music’s attempt to straddle two distinct musical styles – country and jazz – despite the frustration

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“Pony Tail”: Red Rhodes on the Crown Label

How inspiring to see that Orville J. “Red” Rhodes – the legendary steel guitarist who, by the late 1960s, was one of the most in-demand session musicians on the West Coast – got his start on Crown.            Once a day – 1961                blue blue

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“Killer Joe”: Nashville Super Pickers in Austin

In this 1979 performance from TV’s Austin City Limits, Buddy Emmons (steel guitar) and Phil Baugh (electric guitar) take The Nashville Super Pickers for a test drive using the Benny Golson jazz standard, “Killer Joe,” as their vehicle: Buddy Emmons:  Steel Guitar & Vocals Phil Baugh:  Lead Guitar Russ Hicks: 

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“BluEmmons”: Landmark Steel Guitar Jazz

Just as Louis Jordan’s pairing of jump blues with country-style steel guitar was seen as a radical move in 1947, Buddy Emmons‘ decision to feature his masterful steel guitar stylings within a modern jazz context was considered equally bold in 1963 when Mercury released groundbreaking album, Steel Guitar Jazz.  “BluEmmons”

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“C Jam Blues”: From the Father of Hillbilly Jazz

I had a nice laugh when I realized that this fiery little instrumental in the key of C was, indeed, not the world’s first waltz to be played outside of 3/4 time but instead an error in the track listing on the album jacket.  Thus, despite this song being listed as

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Danny Gatton & Buddy Emmons: Kings of Steel

DC Week (actually, fortnight) concludes its special run with a joyous instrumental romp from the Federal City’s formidable guitarslinger, Danny Gatton, joined by pioneering pedal steel virtuoso, Buddy Emmons, from their short-lived incendiary partnership, The Redneck Jazz Explosion: “Raisin’ the Dickens”     Redneck Jazz Explosion     1978 This performance of

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