Tom Morrell – Innovator of Steel Guitar – Hospitalized

From the Dallas Morning News – Tom Morrell, a Dallas-based prolific steel guitar player is being treated at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas for emphysema,Mr. Morrell was admitted to the hospital Jan. 21, where he was placed on a ventilator on Tuesday. The ventilator has since been removed.

Mr. Morrell was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, in St. Louis, in 2001. His CD Monkey Bizness is the 13th volume in his “How the West Was Swung” series of Tom Morrell and the Time Warp Tophands albums. For a discography, visit www.westernswing.net.

Leon Rausch, of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, hired Mr. Morrell in 1964 to be part of the reorganized Texas Playboys band, after Mr. Wills had left the band.

Mr. Rausch, who has played with Mr. Morrell in many other groups and gigs over the years, says fellow musicians consider Mr. Morrell a musical genius. “He’s the man to go to for steel guitar,” he says. “He’s the biggest influence that a lot of us have ever had.”

Albert Talley of the Texas Steel Guitar Association says, “Tom has been a premier player and innovator of steel guitar for the last 50 years.”

Mr. Talley, who organizes the annual Texas Steel Guitar Association Jamboree, says that Mr. Morrell had intended to attend this year’s convention but probably not perform as he usually has.

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