LLOYD GREEN

Born Lloyd Lamar Green, 4 October 1937, Mobile, Alabama

Along with Bud Isaacs, Buddy Emmons, Jimmy Day and a few others, Lloyd Green was among the steel guitarists who revolu- tionized the instrument in the 1950s by utilizing pedals. Though he arrived at the pedal technique somewhat later than his afore- mentioned peers, by the mid-1960s Green was the steel man of choice for any number of Nashville stars and producers. He also played on the Byrds' landmark "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" LP in 1968, thereby influencing generations of nonmainstream country pickers. The precocious Green first started playing Hawaiian steel guitar when he was seven years old, and by age ten he was playing professionally around Mobile. Initially, his repertoire favoured pop standards such as "Stardust". But when he was sixteen, Bud Isaacs' seminal pedal steel work on Webb Pierce's "Slowly" captivated Green and for him changed the instrument "from a moth to a butterfly", in his own words. The young picker immediately modified his own steel guitar, attaching a Model T gas pedal.

In 1956, after attending the University of Southern Mississippi, Green arrived in Nashville, where his first job was with Hawkshaw Hawkins. Green then joined Faron Young's band and later worked with Ferlin Husky. While back in Mobile, Green played in numerous clubs and managed to save enough money to return to Nashville nine months later. But the touring life wasn't for him, and neither was the low pay or the lack of steady gigs. He left the music business for a job in retail, but returned when Fred Rose's wife paid his union dues and secured him work as a supporting musician at the Grand Ole Opry. Green settled in Nashville for good in 1963. When the Little Darlin' label was formed in 1966, Green served as in-house arranger. He recorded several Little Darlin' records under his own name and provided the "left field" licks that helped make Johnny Paycheck's Little Darlin' sides among the most interesting country records of their era. In 1973, recording for Monument, Green scored a # 36 country hit with an instrumental version of "I Can See Clearly Now" (a # 1 pop hit for Johnny Nash in 1972). During the 1980s an ear infection forced him to stop working, but Green eventually returned to session work, and did perform the occasional concert on dobro or steel guitar.

Representative recordings: Day For Decision (Little Darlin', 1966) Shades of Steel (CBS/Monument, 1973).

 
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