Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Master Guitarist Paul Yandell Passes Away

Paul T. Yandell, was born in Mayfield, KY on September 6, 1935 passed away quietly at his home in Hendersonville, TN with his family at his side after a long battle with cancer on November 21, 2011.

Paul was an accomplished player by the time he left high school in Western Kentucky, arriving in Nashville in 1955. Little did he know he would end up playing for the most renowned guitar player in the world.  He joined Chet Atkins in 1975 supporting Chet in his career that lasted for 25 years.

He started his career with The Louvin Brothers, which lasted until 1959, with Paul playing on many of their greatest hits. After serving in the army, Paul joined the Kitty Wells & Johnny Wright show where he stayed from 1961-1969 after which he worked for about a year with George Hamilton, IV. He then joined Jerry Reed in 1970 and as Paul says he “went to college” learning from Jerry Reed. Paul stayed with Jerry until sometime during 1975.

Making his place in Nashville's musical community as a session player, Paul played on many hit records with artists such as Chet, Jerry Reed, Dolly Parton, Steve Wariner, Hank Thompson, Perry Como, Roger Whitaker, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, The Louvin Bros., Les Paul, Woody Herman, The Everly Bros. and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He appeared on TV shows such as The Dinah Shore Show, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Pat Sajak Show, The Merv Griffin Show and Nashville Now.

After Chet died in 2001, Paul released a solo CD entitled Forever Chet featuring many songs performed by Chet throughout his career.

Other CDs released by Paul included One More Again released in 2003; Dream Train, released May of 2004 which  featured many original tunes written by Paul and performed on the New Gretsch “Nashville Classic” that was co-designed by Paul and Fred Gretsch. The artwork for the cover of Dream Train was drawn by Steve Wariner, who is also featured on lap steel on one of the tunes.  Following that was In The Groove released in 2005 and Drive On released in 2006.  He was also instrumental in assisting with the reissue of Chet’s Gretsch CGP guitar.

Merle Atkins Russell and Family presented Paul with the C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player) designation on August 11, 2011.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Hendersonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 353 East Main St., Hendersonville, TN  37075 on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.  Visitation with family will precede the service from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Steve Wariner, Eddie Stubbs & Fred Gretsch will deliver eulogies and Rev. Raymond Langlois will deliver the message.

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