Weldon Myrick, died yesterday in Nashville at age 76, was one of the great lyric poets of the pedal-steel guitar. A consummate technician who did some of his best work backing such country singers as Connie Smith, Moe Bandy and Gary Stewart, Myrick proved himself an incisive, subtle soloist on records by Smith and the country-rock band Area Code 615. No matter what the setting, Myrick always made himself felt.
Born in Jayton, Texas, on April 10, 1938, Weldon Merle Myrick took up the steel guitar at an early age. His older brother, Tex, had begun playing steel in Lubbock, about 100 miles west of Jayton, and it was during one of his brother’s visits home that Weldon became interested in the instrument’s possibilities. Myrick’s father bought him a Rickenbacker Bakelite steel guitar, and soon the teenage musician was playing a Saturday night jamboree in Breckenridge, Texas.
Relocating to Nashville in 1963, he passed an audition with Bill Anderson’s band, and began his association with Connie Smith and RCA Victor producer Bob Ferguson in 1964. Myrick’s licks and structural savvy proved essential to the sound on such now-classic Smith recordings as “Once a Day”
As his career advanced, Myrick appeared on recordings by George Jones, Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire, among many others. He became a staff steel guitarist for The Grand Ole Opry in 1966, and held that position until 1998. In recent years, health problems slowed him down, but he continued to play golf and exercise despite a 2010 stroke that affected his eyesight and limited his ability to play his instrument. After the 1994 death of his first wife, Kitty, he married Judi Underwood, a native of Calhoun, Ky. Suffering a stroke last Friday night, Myrick entered Nashville’s St. Thomas Hospital, where he died Monday afternoon. He leaves behind five children and six grandchildren. This was an edited version of a wonderful artical by Edd Hurt…read more at Nashville Scene