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Pete Drake

March 8, 1973 OH519


Steel guitarist, country music producer and publisher. Born October 8, 1932. Died July 29, 1988. Real name: Roddis Franklin Drake. Innovative steel guitarist. Among the most prolific session musicians in country music history. Recognized for his “talking” steel guitar technique. As a producer worked with numerous artists, including Ringo Starr, Bobby Vinton, Ernest Tubb, and the Oak Ridge Boys. As a music publisher his roster included Ed Bruce, David Allan Coe, and Dottie West. Winner of the 1987 Masters award, presented by the Nashville Entertainment Association. Member, Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Interview Summary

1973 March 8
Printed transcript only. Audio recording not available.
Steel guitarist Pete Drake talks about his career. Discussion includes his start playing the steel guitar; a description of his first pedal steel; forming his first band; the decision to move to Nashville; his playing style; his early session work; development of the “talking” steel guitar style; the growth in popularity of the steel guitar following his recordings for Bob Dylan; discussion of his instruments and playing technique; and comments on the future of country music and the role of the steel guitar.

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