Speak with any steel guitar fan, and one name they always know is Buddy Emmons. On Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 2:30 p.m., the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville will host a “concert and conversation” with “the Big E.” If you can’t make the scene in person, check out the live video stream on the Hall of Fame’s website. Although Emmons isn’t planning to perform, the great Duane Eddy, Dan Dugmore, and Hargus “Pig” Robbins will be there for the program. For more information, click here.
At that age, Emmons was “ready to play any time, anywhere,” he said.  Indeed, many veteran Detroit musicians recalled jamming with the teen-aged steel guitarist at jamborees, barn dances, and private homes throughout Detroit.
“I ended up living in Belle Isle park – or a place close to there, because that’s where I tipped a canoe over one time, and lost an expensive watch and rings and all that. So it was close to Belle Isle park,” said Emmons, who settled on the east side, near Clark’s home. “I lived a couple blocks from Casey, for a while. I guess I moved into a house where the tenants were going on vacation for a few months, so I had to stay there until I got on my feet and started looking for another place.”
Emmons lived in Detroit, working with the Lazy Ranch Boys, through mid-1955, when Jimmy Dickens hired him. Read all about the Lazy Ranch Boys, including other stellar steel guitarists such as Jim Baker, Terry Bethel, and Chuck Rich, in the book “Detroit Country Music: Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies.”
- Buddy Emmons interviewed by Keith Cady in 2007.