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Another guitar giant that doesn't get enough respect


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Hank Garland was one of the greatest players of the 50's and 60's until a tragic car wreck at the age of 31 in 1961 left him with severe brain damage and unable to play. Film of him playing is very rare, but you have heard him many times, he wrote the Sugarfoot Rag as a exercise, the list of artist he recorded with includes The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley (Little Sister) and Eddy Arnold, he was introduced to jazz by Billy Byrd and Owen Bradley. Byrd and Garland became best of friends and together they designed the Gibson Byrdland.

When asked about Garland, Jimmy Smith said " To me, Hank Garland will always be one of the great players of our time."

George Benson-"Hank Garland in among those rare and unforgettable guitarists of our time. The fire of his rhythmic picking is tempered by his beautifully interwoven harmonic concept. He continues to be one of my favorites of all time."



Did I mention he could play very fast?


This is the only film I have found of him playing, The Sugarfoot Rag,


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I have two of the solo records he made before his car wreck, they are treasures. Very much in the style of MJQ.

Once you listen to him for a while you will hear his distinctive tone and style on the albums of other artist he recorded with..He wrote & recorded the Sugarfoot Rag when he was 16! He recorded with Hank Williams Sr., Roy Orbison, Brenda Lee, Bobby Darian, Elvis, the Everly Brothers, after establishing himself as a Nashville sessions player he set his sights on the Jazz world, he was a regular at the Birdland Club in NYC playing with Charlie Parker and George Shearing.

I can only imagine...


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