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Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Bandit, May 19, 2019.
Who was the first to use distortion in Country Music?
Grady Martin, on Don't Worry About Me by Marty Robbins. Recorded in 1961.
Yep, by accident..
Cool! It sounds like a bass trombone. Maybe a synthesizer, too. Also sounds carefully worked out and cleanly played, rhythmically and dynamically. The distortion sounds very tight and artificial. Maestro, maybe? Not sure of the time frame, though.
I’d vote for Junior Barnard.
Sounds like an oxymoron.
Bob Wills, and his Texas Playboys guitarist Lester Robert “Junior” Barnard on this:
Grady's was actually an effect not just an overdriven tube amp. Gotta love Junior's playing and tone though.
I saw Marty Robbins at a Wembley Country Music Festival in the UK in the mid 70's-ish and he had an Asian looking pedal steel guitar picker who did that distortion riff going thru' a foot pedal which looked like the Boss (yellow) distortion pedal and it sounded just like the record.. S
Those CB radios had tiny speakers, and they distorted like crazy.
I’ve always heard that Don’t Worry ..... was the first.
Buck Owens’ Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass featuring Don Rich’s fuzztone was another later example, circa 1969.
Are there many others?
Bob Dunn was the guitarist for the pioneer western swing band Milton Brown and his musical Brownies. In 1935 he cut this side using a Rickenbacker Electro A-22 "frying pan" lap steel guitar with an Epiphone amp. Of interest is that he approached it as a trombone player would-being influenced by local Fort Worth trombonist Jack Teagarden.
Brookdalebill beat me to it. Rather odd ball song and sound! Love it, though.
I was just about to post the Buck Owens tune. Thanks for taking care of it for me.
Junior Barnard seems like the right answer, but for a more modern take you might find this article of interest. (With songs!)