Cover photo for Ray Edenton's Obituary
Ray Edenton Profile Photo
1926 Ray 2022

Ray Edenton

November 3, 1926 — September 21, 2022


Ray Quarles Edenton passed away peacefully at home September 21, 2022 at the age of 95.  He was preceeded in death by his parents, siblings, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.  He is survived by his Wife Polly, Dog LeRoy, Son Ray Q., daughter Ronda, son in law Gary  and many many friends.  He will be laid to rest in his hometown church cemetary in Mineral, VA.  In lieu of flowers,  he would like donations to his church in his memory.  Trinity Baptist  Church  in Care of Alice Knight Secretary, 518 Daniel Road      Louisa, VA    23093.

Ray was a musical Legacy and was one of the most recorded guitarist. One of our favorite songs he played on was "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers.  Below are some Historical comments.....

“Nashville’s musical legacy is elevated by Ray Edenton’s rock-solid, highly inventive rhythm guitar. He developed new guitar tunings to create sounds that had not been heard before, and he played guitar parts that enhanced famed recordings including the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie,” Roger Miller’s “King of the Road," Webb Pierce’s “There Stands the Glass,” Marty Robbins’s “Singing the Blues,” and Neil Young’s Nashville-produced album Comes a Time. He was a significant factor in more than 10,000 recording sessions. In 2007, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum honored him as a “Nashville Cat,” a designation that celebrates musicians of great consequence. Ray is one of the many hidden heroes of Music City, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was always eager to shine a light on his virtuosity and ingenuity.”

—Kyle Young, CEO

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

"The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum is saddened to learn of the passing of guitarist Ray Edenton.  He was inducted in 2007 as part of the inaugural class along with the rest of The Nashville A-Team.  He played guitar on thousands of songs.  Just some of the notable artists included The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Lynn Anderson, George Morgan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cowboy Copas, Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce, Chet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -" Country Music guitar player Ray Edenton died this week at 95, according to his family.Born in 1926, Edenton grew up near Mineral, Virginia, where he learned to play the banjo ukulele. At age six, he would perform with his two brothers and cousins at square dances in the area.Edenton is considered one of Nashville’s most prolific studio musicians and has played on more than 12,000 recording sessions as a member of the Nashville-A-Team, a group of musicians who backed hundreds of popular country songs.Edenton’s first session was with country singer Red Kirk when he recorded “Lovesick Blues” for Mercury Records in 1949. His first appearance on a major hit came on Webb Pierce’s 1953 single “There Stands the Glass.” He then went on to play on 26 of Pierce’s 27 chart-topping country singles. Atkins, Conway Twitty, Jan Howard, and The Statler Brothers."

MusicRow.Com "Ray Edenton, the rhythm guitarist in Nashville’s fabled “A-Team” of classic session musicians, has died at age 95. Edenton’s family confirmed his death to the Country Music Hall of Fame.He was a native of Mineral, Virginia, who was born Nov. 3, 1926. His grandfather was a fiddler and two older brothers were also musicians. Edenton was playing guitar by age 6.Following army service during World War II, he worked with Joe Maphis at WRVA’s Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Virginia. In 1949, he relocated to WNOX in Knoxville.Edenton moved to Nashville in 1952 and began playing acoustic guitar at the Grand Ole Opry. He transitioned to recording-session work the following year. Two of the earliest hits he played on were “There Stands the Glass” by Webb Pierce in 1953 and “One By One,” a 1954 duet by Kitty Wells and Red Foley.

His playing is particularly prominent on the 1956 smash “Singing the Blues” by Marty Robbins. It is one of the few discs on which he played lead guitar.He also played mandolin, bass, banjo and ukulele, but most of his session work is characterized by his steady, throbbing, unobtrusive rhythm-guitar playing. He played on the early hits by The Everly Brothers, matching his driving acoustic rhythms with those of Don Everly and Chet Atkins on such 1957 discs as “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie.”

His studio worked picked up in the 1960s, and he remained constantly busy throughout the next two decades. It would be easier to name the country artists he did not record with than to list all of those he did. Ray Edenton appeared on records by more than 50 Country Music Hall of Fame members.Along with the rest of the Nashville A-Team, Ray Edenton was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007."

" Dear Local 257 members,

With great respect and a heavy heart, I am writing to inform you of the passing of AFM local 257 Life Member, guitarist Ray Edenton, on September 21, 2022 at the age of 95. He joined Local 257 on January 3, 1953. He was one of the most recorded musicians in Nashville history, with a wide range of credits ranging from Red Foley, Kitty Wells, and Elvis Presley to Sammy Davis, Jr., Gary Burton, and Neil Young.

He was born on November 3, 1926 and was raised in Mineral, Virginia, playing square dances as a teenager before joining the Army. After his service ended, he formed a western swing band before joining up with Joe Maphis as bassist in his band the Korn Krackers in 1948, playing at the Old Dominion Barn Dance. He then moved to Knoxville, TN where he befriended fellow guitarist Chet Atkins. After a long hospitalization due to tuberculosis, he moved to Nashville and began playing on the Grand Ole Opry in the early fifties while his recording career took off as well

Among the classic hits he played on are Webb Pierce’s “There Stands the Glass,” The Everly Brothers’ “Bye, Bye, Love” and “Wake Up Little Susie,” Marty Robbins’ “Singing the Blues,” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” That is just the tip of the iceberg, and he also played on many TV shows over the years, including “Nashville on the Road.” I first met Ray in Hawaii in 1981 when that show was filming there and I was touring with Don Williams’ band at the time. He was gracious, modest, and funny.

Edenton has been retired for many years, but occasionally would make it out to events like our “Great Day in Nashville” photo shoot at the Musicians Hall of Fame, where he was inducted as a member of the Nashville A Team. Over the course of his career, he played on more than 15,000 recording sessions, in a wide range of genres. In his own words: “Everybody in the world came here and we recorded with all of them. You might do a pop session in the morning, and bluegrass in the afternoon, and rock & roll at night. People often ask me about session musicians and why, back in those days, only a few people made all the records. It was several things. You had to learn real quick. You had to adapt real quick. And if you couldn’t do that, you couldn’t do sessions!”

Rest on Peace, Ray Edenton, your music lives on!"

In Unity and Harmony,

Dave Pomeroy

President, Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257

His background and life story is must too vast to list here, so please visit the links listed Below :

Photo of Ray Courtesy of Marty Stuart

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