Steel Guitar Artist Jimmy Day

By David J. Stewart | August 2015

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       Jimmy Day (1934-1999) was one of the most legendary steel guitar artists of his time. I'm amazed when I stop and realize that no one ever saw a steel guitar until 1922 when the first Frypan Rickenbacher 22" and 25" models came out. Those poor people throughout history! I thank God for the steel guitar (lap, pedal, dobro) and all the cheer that it brings to so many people's lives. What a privilege and blessing from God in Heaven to have such a beautiful musical instrument. I'm amazed at the musicianship of Al Perkins, Lloyd Green, Jimmy Day and others.

When Jimmy went on to eternity, his Gospel steel guitar album “In Jesus Name We Play” disappeared, but I have the original record. Since it's not available online, I've created some streaming audio M3U files here...

Side One Side Two

I met Jimmy Day and his wife for the first time at a Steel Guitar Jamboree in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1992 I believe it was. That was the year I began to learn to play the pedal steel guitar. I also saw Jimmy in St. Louis at the International Steel Guitar Convention (ISGC) in 1995. I had the privilege of watching and recording Jimmy Day, Hal Rugg, Lloyd Green and Jeff Newman play together at a Steel Guitar Jamboree.

Steel guitar legend Speedy West had previously suffered a stroke which paralyzed him. When speedy heard Jimmy, Lloyd, Hal and Jeff performing, he naturally wanted to play and took a few minutes to try, but all he could do was flop his hand around and make a bunch of noise. I'll never forget the tears in Jimmy Day's eyes at the Jamboree. Jimmy had a heart. When Buddy Charleton was inducted into the steel guitar Hall Of Fame, he broke down in tears on the main platform in St. Louis and Jimmy Day came up behind him and gave him a big bear-hug.

My favorite albums by Jimmy Day are his early 1960's hits Steel And Strings and Golden Steel Guitar Hits. It's impeccable steel guitar, and a benchmark standard. I've tried to obtain the same quality of recording at home and have never even come close. The symphony backgrounds, high quality recording and Jimmy's super talent all came together to make history!

Jimmy Day dedicated his Gospel album to his dear mother. The back of the album reads, “This album is lovingly dedicated to Mrs. Leo (Bertha) Day Sr. without whose underlying faith it would not have come to pass. Mama, your prayers pulled me through.” That's just wonderful. I love that. Andy McMahon played keyboards on the album, and Steve Mendell played bass. And of course, Jimmy Day on pedal steel guitar. So there were three musicians total. The album is titled, “In Jesus' Name We Play: A Musical Message by Jimmy Day.” I'm for one am grateful for all the beautiful music that Jimmy Day left the world, and as a born-again Christian I rejoice to know that Jimmy is in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you will be there too friend. Get God's Gift. END

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John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”