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Steel Guitar Story

The 2010 International Steel Guitar Convention may have ended on Saturday night but the music sure didn’t. It was around 1:30 am Sunday morning and there was a hot jam still going in one of the side rooms featuring Johnny Cox on steel and several other hot players including Terry Bethel who has played steel for Mel Tillis for many years. Justin Trevino, a fantastic and well known singer from down in Texas was on bass and vocals.

They were jamming on a song with an odd chord progression so Terry Bethel, noticing that Justin Trevino was struggling to find the chords, got in front of Justin and began giving him hand signals…. holding up his fingers signifying the chord changes via the Nashville number system.

At first Terry couldn’t figure out why Justin Trevino was not following the chord changes as he signaled him…. Then he remembered that Justin Trevino is blind. Sure doesn’t hurt Justin’s bass playing, singing, and song writing. Justin is a frequent guest on the T-V show called “True Country” aired every weekend on the RFD television channel out of Branson. Be sure and catch him anytime you can.

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Russ Wever was back in Nashville earlier this year and spent the day visiting with Buddy Emmons and Ron Elliott. As you would expect, these seasoned players were exchanging some interesting steel guitar stories from the past.

Buddy told this funny story about Bud Issacs who had been called to fill in for the regular steel player at a popular night club. Unknown to Issacs, the regular house band steel player had been messing around with some guy’s wife on the side. The promiscuous wife’s husband found out about the affair and showed up at the club that night to settle the score with the steel player.

When he walked up to the band stand and started to pick a fight with the steel player (Bud Issacs), Issacs, who was a real scrapper, hauled off and decked the guy with one punch…. Knocking the guy out cold on the dance floor.

The band took a break and when the club owner walked up to Issacs at the bar and asked him what that was all about, Issacs replied…. “Aw nothin’, the SOB asked me to play Steel Guitar Rag so I hit him”.