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Subject: Musician / Guitarist Reggie Young

Dies at 82
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Date Posted: Friday, January 18, 08:13:08am

Legendary guitarist Reggie Young — key sideman to Elvis, Waylon, Willie and more — dead at age 82

Reggie Young's name may not be instantly familiar to the masses, but his guitar work has been heard by nearly everyone with a set of ears: the sultry opening of Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” the signature electric sitar of the Box Tops' "Cry Like a Baby," the dramatic swells on Elvis Presley’s "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto,” and literally hundreds of other hits and classics.

The 82-year-old Young died Thursday night at his home outside Nashville, following an illustrious seven-decade career. Young served as the anchor of house bands at Memphis’ Hi Records and American Studios and as one of Nashville's most revered session men.

Legendary guitarist Reggie Young died Jan. 17 at age 82. His guitar work appeared on hundreds of hits and classics. (Photo: Chart Room Media)

His passing was confirmed by family, friends and several artists he worked with, including B.J. Thomas, who took to social media to praise Young, calling him a "brother and friend." Country star Travis Tritt also saluted Young, crediting him as "the most recorded studio guitarist in history. Moreover, Reggie was a genuinely nice and humble human being."

Born in 1936 in Caruthersville, Missouri, and raised in Osceola, Arkansas, Young moved with his family to Memphis in 1950 at the age of 14. A relative prodigy, Young was gigging professionally at age 15. He would go on to back local rockabilly singer Eddie Bond — putting his signature lick on Bond's hit "Rockin' Daddy" — before being hired away by country star Johnny Horton. In the late-'50s Young would land as the house guitarist at the fledgling South Memphis’ Royal Studios/Hi Records, making hits with Bill Black’s Combo.

After being drafted and serving a stint in the Army — where he was stationed in Africa, and recruited by and rebuffed an offer to join the CIA — Young returned stateside. He would tour with Bill Black's Combo, getting a first-hand glimpse of Beatlemania as the Fab Four’s opening act in 1964. Young also played on some of the great soul sides Hi Records began producing under bandleader Willie Mitchell.


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List of oldest guitar heroes still aliveMattCFriday, January 18, 08:53:47am

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