Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman remembers a man who helped make others famous while avoiding the spotlight himself.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.
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Steel guitarist Jimmy Day was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 9, 1934, but spent much of his life in Texas. While still a teenager in the early 1950s, he began performing on the Louisiana Hayride alongside such artists as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and Johnny Horton. Jimmy Day enjoyed some of his greatest success working with Texas singers, including Jim Reeves, Ray Price and Willie Nelson. Jimmy Day played steel guitar with scores of other popular artists, including Ernest Tubb and Patsy Cline, but he was always more comfortable as a sideman and let others have the spotlight. In the late 1970s, Jimmy Day relocated to the Austin area, where he performed until his death in 1999.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor one of the most influential artists in American music.