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Don Helms

May 29, 1991 OHC143 38 min.


Steel guitarist. Born February 28, 1927. Best known as the steel guitarist for Hank Williams and a member of the original Drifting Cowboys. Recognized as a skilled Nashville session player, he can be heard on the recordings on several major stars, including Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Lefty Frizzell, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynn. Member, Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Interview Summary

1991 May 29
(38 minutes)
Steel guitarist Don Helms talks about his work as a session player for Patsy Cline. Discussion includes Cline’s approach to recording; working with Owen Bradley; his impression of Cline’s singing style; his playing style on “Walkin’ After Midnight”; working on the Grand Ole Opry with Cline; the trend toward crossover hits in the 1950s; Cline’s performance style; and Cline’s contribution to country music.

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