Reggie Young, Studio Guitarist on Dozens of Classic Hits, Dead at 82
Famous songs by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. and Reba McEntire were aided tremendously by great guitar licks from Reggie Young. The well-known and respected live and studio musician died at the age of 82 on Thursday (Jan. 18) in Nashville.
While Young really rose to fame and acclaim in the '60s as part of the Memphis Boys at American Studios, he continued adding important parts to records well into the '90s and beyond. Travis Tritt was among the artists to quickly tribute Young, a man who once toured with the Beatles, opening shows with Bill Black's Combo.
The Commercial Appeal (a USA Today network publication) lists more than a dozen all-time great hits that Young touched. From the opening guitar lick on Dusty Springfield's "Song of a Preacher Man" to Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Nelson's "Always on My Mind," Waylon Jennings' "Luckenbach, Texas" and Williams "Family Tradition," he helped create enough music for its own country greatest hits record. Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, B.B. King and Sinead O'Connor are a few more who hired him.
The Missouri-born, Arkansas-raised guitarist started young and had his music career interrupted by a stint in the Army, but came back to live in Memphis, Atlanta and then Nashville. WSMV in Nashville also confirmed news of Young's death, listing Johnny Cash, George Jones and Kris Kristofferson as three more artists he played with. He's also name-checked in a Jimmy Buffett song called "God's Own Drunk."
No funeral arrangements or family information were made available.
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