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When a good side player's doing their job right, you might not know their name or face, but you definitely know their guitar licks. Such is the case for Reggie Young, the ace session
man whose guitar work helped lend immortality to iconic tracks like "Long Black Limousine", "Suspicious Minds", "In the Ghetto" and many more classic Elvis recordings from those
Legendary 1969 sessions at American Sound Studios, "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, and a massive cache of others.
At the age of 82, Young died at his home near Nashville on Thursday evening (Jan. 17,) as reported by Commercial Appeal. Following his death, the legendary guitarist was
mourned by family, friends and others throughout the music industry.
Reggie Young's daughter-in-law Frances Young announced... My family is saddened to announce the passing of Reggie Young, my friend and former father-in-law as well as my
children’s beloved Grandpops. Everyone knew Reggie whether they realized it or not. He was the most recorded guitarist in music history and held the record for many years for
playing on more #1 songs than any other musician. 'Drift Away’s' signature riff was his calling card, but my favorite song of his when I was a girl was Elvis’ 'In the Ghetto. The guitar
mesmerized me while the lyrics told their haunting tale. Little did I know how special the man playing those notes would be in my life. Reggie was my friend, my family, and a father-
figure who showed me how gentle and caring a dad could be. May you know joy and peace beyond the Veil, Reggie. Loved ya always, no matter what."
On Twitter, artist B.J Thomas remembered Young as "the greatest guitar player of them all in my book" as well as a "friend for over 40 years," explaining that he had played on
"virtually all of my music."
Travis Tritt expressed similar sentiments, saying that "Reggie played on most of my '90s albums and was the most recorded studio guitarist in history...Reggie was also a great
Young was born in 1936 in Caruthersville, Mo. and grew up in Arkansas before moving to Arkansas as a teenager in 1950. He began playing professionally at the age of 15, and
served as a house guitarist at Royal Studios / Hi Records at a young age.
He eventually made his way to Nashville after serving in the Army -- and turning down an offer to work at the CIA -- and worked with a virtual who's-who of Music City's most
accomplished performers. There are of course those amazing Elvis recordings from 1969, but Young contributed to albums by the likes of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon
Jennings, Hank Williams Jr. and Reba McEntire.
Young released his first solo album, Forever Young, in 2017. Additionally, U.K. label Ace Records, which released his solo project, is also planning to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of his sessions with Elvis with a compilation album titled Reggie Young: Session Guitar Star later in January of 2019.
|Elvis & Reggie Young at American Sound back in 1969 and Reggie in more recent times still playin'