Sunday, August 17, 2008

Guitarobit: Don Helms

Another legend's death to report, I'm afraid: Dom Helms, the steel guitarist who appeared on most of Hank Williams' landmark recordings, has died from complications from heart surgery and diabetes.

As a child growing up in a Texas home that had no mains electricity, Helms developed his own unique amplification system - he'd play his first guitar on top of a washing bath to achieve the resonance. He was still a teenage when he first worked with Williams, as a member of the Drifting Cowboys; the demands of conscription took him away but - having returned to civvy street and joined the Grand Old Opry - Helms was reunited with Williams, and became a key player in the new line-up of the Drifting Cowboys from 1949.

He was still with the group for Williams' last session in 1952; the Drifting Cowboys became the Cherokee Cowboys and then Helms would go on to work with almost all the country giants of the era - Patsy Cline, the young Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn amongst them.

More recently, he would be drafted in by a younger generation of artists - he worked with Bon Jovi and even Kid Rock; he remained a working musician up until his death.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ronnie drew died too. where's his obit?

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