Legendary country, rock and jazz guitarist Hank Garland,
who performed with Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers,
Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Charlie Parker and many others, has died at the age of 74.
Garland died of a staph infection Monday at Orange Park
Medical Center, said his brother, Billy Garland.
In the 1950s and '60s, Walter "Hank" Garland was the talk of
Nashville, known for musical riffs that could take a recording
from humdrum to dazzling, as he did on Elvis hits like "Little Sister"
and "Big Hunk of Love."
He had his first million-selling hit at 19 with "Sugar Foot Rag," a
famous country tune.
In addition to performing with Elvis and other stars in
Nashville, Garland was at the forefront of the rock 'n' roll
movement, enjoyed a prestigious career as a country virtuoso,
pioneered the electric guitar at the Grand Ole Opry and inspired
jazz instrumentalists such as George Benson. He jammed in New York
City with George Shearing and jazz great Charlie Parker.
His detailed session logbook reads like a "Who's Who" of the stars
of country music, including Brenda Lee, Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins,
Boots Randolph, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams Sr.
Garland worked with Elvis from 1957 to 1961, and was playing
on the soundtrack for his movie "Follow That Dream" in 1961
when a car crash put him in a coma for months.
The crash injuries and a series of 100 shock treatments administered
at a Nashville hospital left him a shadow of his former self. He had
to relearn everything from walking and talking to playing the guitar.
Garland started playing guitar at age 6 and appeared on radio
shows at age 12. He was discovered at the age of 14 at a South
Carolina music store where he had gone to buy a guitar string.
He soon would set Nashville on fire.
"He was born with talent," said Billy Garland. "A God-given talent."
Other links of interest:
(Note: User registration may be required to read this or any article
on some news media sites. You are under no obligation to provide
any news media site with any relevant information and
we encourage the use of an email address that you want
spam/advertisements sent to in such situations.)