Legendary steel guitar player Tom Brumley passed away Tuesday after a heart attack. The son of Albert E. Brumley, who wrote the classic spiritual “I’ll Fly Away”, Brumley’s clean style made him a hero within the steel guitar community.
If you enjoy steel guitar, it’s hard not to love Brumley, who spent nearly a decade in Buck Owens’ Buckaroos popularizing the Bakersfield country sound on such hits as “Act Naturally” and “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail.” After leaving Owens’ band, Brumley spend a decade with Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, including performing on the 1972 single “Garden Party.” Brumley then spent 1989 to 2003 as a staple in Branson, performing with with his sons in a steel guitar showcase. Outside of his regular gigs, Brumley was still a highly sought-after session player, performing on tracks by Rod Stewart, Waylon Jennings, Chris Isaak, Robbie Fulks, and Jonathan Richman.
Buck Owens, “Love’s Gonna Live Here”:
Don Rich and the Buckaroos, “Wham Bam”:
Jonathan Richman, “Since She Started To Ride”:
Brumley was 73.
Tom Brumley dies at 73; steel guitarist for Buck Owens and Rick Nelson [LA Times]
[Photo via TomBrumley.com]