and steel guitarist from Leaf, Mississippi, whose family moved to Mobile,
Alabama, when he was four years old.
He started out on the Hawaiian guitar and at the age of ten, he was already
gigging on the local club circuit.
After graduating from high school, he matriculated to the University
of Southern Mississippi, where he pursued a degree in psychology.
years of age, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and promptly landed a spot
with Faron Young’s touring outfit,
remaining with him for a year-and-a-half. Life on the road was no life for a
newlywed, however, and he returned to Mobile to spend more time with his wife. He did manage to cut a recording
with George Jones, titled “Too Much Water Under The Bridge”,
but it would be a long time in between sessions, as he could not afford to
pay his union dues.
came in an unlikely fashion when Lloyd returned to Nashville as a shoe
salesman, and one of his clients footed the bill. Soon he found himself backing
artists such as Jim Reeves at The Grand Ole Opry. In the meantime, he supplemented his
income by working part-time for Roy Drusky at
SESAC, where he stayed for three years, waiting for his break.
some notice with his unique instrumental playing on the #1 hits, “The Bridge Washed Out”, by Warner
Mack, and “Girl on the Billboard”, by Del Reeves, both released
in 1965. In 1966 and 1967, he
recorded a pair of instrumental albums, The
Little Darlin’ Sound of Lloyd Green and
Master of the Steel Strings. This resulted in Cashbox and Record World bestowing their “Most Promising
Instrumentalist” award upon him, in 1967.
work came in dribs and drabs until the late ‘60s, when his career as
a studio musician exploded.
From here on
out, Lloyd Green became the go-to steel guitar player in Nashville and
beyond. Some of the artists and
groups with whom he has worked include: Lynn Anderson, Bobby Bare, The Byrds, J.J. Cale, Crystal
Gayle, Nanci Griffith, Earl Klugh,
Henry Mancini, Paul McCartney, Ronnie Milsap,
Lorrie Morgan, Johnny Paycheck, Charley Pride, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith,
Hank Snow, Ringo Starr, Mel Tillis,
Gene Watson, The Whites, Don Williams, and Tammy Wynette.
wooed by Paul McCartney to go on tour with him, but respectfully declined
as his plate was full of recording dates in Nashville.
In the early
‘70s, Lloyd enjoyed some success as a solo artist, charting with
covers such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “I Can See
Clearly Now”. He even
cracked the Billboard charts as a vocalist with “You and Me”.
It was the
steel guitar that was his forte, though, and he designed his own model, the
Sho-Bud LDG, the inaugural version of which
arrived at his door on 9th May 1973. It naturally underwent changes, but
the fourth version became his instrument of choice, and it was featured on
over 5,000 sessions from 1973 to 1988.
Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences named him their “Most
Valuable Player” in 1973 and 1974. In 1988, he was enshrined in the
Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, in St. Louis, Missouri. Unfortunately, an ear infection
sidelined his career for a while, but by 1992 he was back in action at the
International Steel Guitar Convention, held annually in the Gateway
years, he has revitalized his career with a music video entitled “An
Evening of E-9th” with fellow instrumentalist Todd White,
and a compact disc, Lloyd Green
– Revisited, released in 2003. In 2004, he waxed nostalgic with
Alan Jackson on his #1 hit, “Remember When”.
fans who remember when the steel guitar was a staple of just about every
country song, Lloyd Green’s catalogue of recordings is not just a
discography, but something of a musical diary. In total, his recordings number
upwards from 30,000. 215
reached the top ten. 115 of
those went to #1. It is small
wonder that he was #1 when it came time to assemble Nashville’s
“A Team” in 2006.
As recently at
2008, he was back in the studio recording new material with Casey Dilworth
and Jerry Douglas.
Randy Barlow recordings
Man (J.L. Wallace/Terry
Hargus “Pig” Robbins recordings
Chunky People (Jim Vest/David Chamberlain)