Former member of Nashville-A-Team, Ray Edenton, dies at 95
Edenton backed many famous voices such as Reba, Elvis, and many more.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Country Music guitar player Ray Edenton died this week at 95, according to his family.
Born in 1926, Edenton grew up near Mineral, Virginia, where he learned to play the banjo ukulele. At age six, he would perform with his two brothers and cousins at square dances in the area.
Edenton is considered one of Nashville’s most prolific studio musicians and has played on more than 12,000 recording sessions as a member of the Nashville-A-Team, a group of musicians who backed hundreds of popular country songs.
Edenton’s first session was with country singer Red Kirk when he recorded “Lovesick Blues” for Mercury Records in 1949. His first appearance on a major hit came on Webb Pierce’s 1953 single “There Stands the Glass.” He then went on to play on 26 of Pierce’s 27 chart-topping country singles.
Other artists Edenton accompanied via record include Julie Andrews, the Beach Boys, Gary Burton, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, and Reba McEntire.
”Nashville’s musical legacy is elevated by Ray Edenton’s rock-solid, highly inventive rhythm guitar,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “He developed new guitar tunings to create sounds that had not been heard before, and he played guitar parts that enhanced famed recordings including the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie,” Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” Webb Pierce’s “There Stands the Glass,” Marty Robbins’s “Singing the Blues,” and Neil Young’s Nashville-produced album Comes a Time. He was a significant factor in more than 10,000 recording sessions. In 2007, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum honored him as a “Nashville Cat,” a designation that celebrates musicians of great consequence. Ray is one of the many hidden heroes of Music City, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was always eager to shine a light on his virtuosity and ingenuity.”
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