I started playing the guitar when I was twelve years old. There had been a guitar in our house since 1947, when my grandpa
bought my brother a used S S Stewart at the local pawnshop. But it wasnt until the summer of 1956 that I really took an interest
in playing. There were two sisters that lived across the street from me and they were out on the porch one-day playing a record
by a new singer named Elvis Presley. I like the song ok, but when the guitar player took a break in the middle of the song
I went ballistic! I had never heard guitar playing like that before. It was years before I learned that the guitar player
on the record was Scotty Moore, and like him, I would become a fan of Chet Atkins. That evening when my brother got home,
I ask him to show me a few chords and I told him about the song I had heard on the record. Im sure he thought I was a hopeless
case, but he showed me the chords anyway, and so began my musical career.
I never had any formal lessons; I would just search out guitar players and listen to them play. Then one day my brother
told me about a guitar player who lived just three blocks away from our house and he was better than Scotty Moore. I didnt
believe it; so I went to see and hear for myself. His name was Jack Renshaw and he was one heck of a picker. He played with
a thumbpick; something I didnt know at the time that Chet and Scotty both did. I found out that Jacks influence was Merle
Travis and Chet Atkins. You better know I was at his house every evening watching him play and asking questions. That Christmas
Mom and Dad bought me a record player from Western Auto and I bought my first Chet Atkins record, a small 33 1/3 rpm with
four tunes on it called an EP or extended play album. The name of it was A Session with Chet Atkins. It was over my head,
but I was determined to learn to play thumb and fingerstyle guitar. Although I learned to play many of Chets tunes I was still
hooked on the sound of Rockabilly guitar, like I first heard on Elvis Presleys song "Thats Alright Mama". Then came "Blue
Suede Shoes", "Lets Play House" and "Mystery Train". As I learned to play, I switched back and forth from the classic Chet
style of music to the hard driving music of Rock and Roll guitar. Those two influences can still be heard today when I play.
One of my dreams came true in 1993 as I got the chance to meet Scotty Moore at a guitar convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
I got the chance to tell him the story of how his guitar playing on Thats Alright Mama had made me want to be a guitar player.
I have a picture posted of me and Scotty and my brother taken at that meeting. I also got to meet Chet numerous times and
talk to him on the phone. He was a true country gentleman, always a kind word for everyone.
Thats how my musical talent developed. I hope you enjoy my music.