.

Hank Garland Dead at 74

Guitarist who played with Elvis, Bird, Patsy Cline passes

December 29, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Innovative guitarist Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, who played on recordings by Elvis, Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, died of a staph infection Monday night at a hospital in Orange Park, Florida. He was seventy-four years old.

Born outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Garland began playing guitar at age six, scoring his first hit, the instrumental "Sugarfoot Rag," at nineteen. A member of a select group of Nashville session musicians known as the "A-team," he also recorded a jazz album, Jazz Winds From a New Direction, and jammed with Charlie Parker and pianist George Shearing.

In 1961 a car accident left Garland in a coma for months. The guitarist sustained significant brain damage and suffered a loss in coordination that prevented him from returning to top form.

Fellow A-team guitarist Harold Bradley once said of Garland, "We haven't had another one come down the pike who plays the lines that he played. We've got some guys who play fast, but ...they don't have the feeling, the soul."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com