Jimmy Day Biography

James Clayton Day, 9 January 1934, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, d. 22 January 1999, Houston, Texas, USA. Day began to play guitar as a child but, in 1949, after seeing Shot Jackson playing a steel guitar on television, he was fascinated by the instrument (Jackson became his friend and greatly influenced his playing). By 1951, he was playing steel guitar for Webb Pierce on the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH Shreveport. He made his first recording when he played on Pierce’s 1952 number 1, ‘That Heart Belongs To Me’. At KWKH, he worked with Red Sovine and Hank Williams and as a session musician, he played on many of Jim Reeves’ Abbott and Fabor recordings. In 1953, he played on Mitchell Torok’s hit ‘Caribbean’. During 1954, he worked with Lefty Frizzell and on occasions with Elvis Presley, and with his friend Floyd Cramer, he organized the KWKH staff band. He relocated to Nashville in 1955, because he said theHayride had ‘too much rock ‘n’ roll’, and that year played on Ray Price’s hit ‘Crazy Arms’. In the early 60s, he, Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons were responsible for the manufacture of Sho-Bud pedal steel guitars. From 1958, through to the mid-60s, he played on countless sessions and worked with Ernest Tubb, Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, George Jones (he played on Jones’ hit ‘The Race Is On’), Willie Nelson and Ferlin Husky. Between 1966 and 1973, Day mainly worked with Willie Nelson or Little Jimmy Dickens. In the 70s, Day spent a few years playing in Texas before returning to Nashville where he played the Grand Ole Opry and also worked with Charlie Louvin. He finally returned to Texas in 1978, where he continued to play in various bands and with different artists, including Nelson and Johnny Bush, as well as doing session work and at one time fronting his own Texas Tunesmiths. He appeared in Europe several times and, in 1991, toured Korea with Skeeter Davis. He was elected to the International Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame in 1982.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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