Monday, December 18, 2017

Country in the NEWS: Where New Country meets Old Country ....December 4, 2017 (Texas Troubadours - Leon Rhodes - R.I.P.)

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Leon Rhodes, Guitarist for Texas Troubadours, Dies at 85

Leon Rhodes

Country guitarist Leon Rhodes, who was an essential component of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours, died Saturday at his Nashville home. He was 85.

The 1960s guitar great sold his bed at a young age to buy his first six-string, he said during the 2014 Country Music Hall of Fame -- and he didn’t stop playing since. At 16, he snagged a job as a musician on The Big D Jamboree, a country music program on Dallas radio station KRLD-AM.

A few years later, Tubb hired him to be the lead guitarist in the Troubadours, who he played with for seven years. He later worked as a session musician and spent more than 20 years as part of the band on the variety television program Hee Haw.

Country music artists Charlie Daniels and Elizabeth Cook took to Twitter to honor the guitarist, noting the classic line by Tubb when Rhodes was about to dive into a solo: “Awww, pick it out, Leon.”

Charlie Daniels
 "A legendary Nashville guitar picker has passed away
Leon Rhodes rest in peace.
Your picking will be remembered and respected by those of us who admired you."

Elizabeth Cook
"Ever hear an Ernest Tubb record where he say “awwww, pick it out Leon”?-that was Leon Rhodes. He’s gone on 2 join that country band in the sky."

Rhodes is survived by his wife of 52 years Judi, his eight children, 25 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.


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