Country music steel guitar great Hal Rugg died Tuesday morning in his
Tucson, Ariz., home, after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 69.
Rugg, a Steel Guitar Hall of Famer and a member of the Grand Ole Opry
staff band for 16 years, played on records by George Jones, The Osborne
Brothers, Joan Baez, Porter Wagoner, Steve Wariner, Billy Walker, Ronnie
Milsap and many others.
He was best-known for his work with Loretta Lynn, for whom Rugg contributed
memorable parts on numerous hits. Rugg's steel is a prominent feature on Lynn
hits including Coal Miner's Daughter, Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin'
On Your Mind) and One's On The Way.
Rugg was among the most visible of steel guitarists, serving as bandleader
on country awards programs, acting as musical director for The Statler Brothers'
Show on TNN in the 1990s and working on other programs, including The Wilburn
Brothers Show and The Jimmy Dean Show. Rugg also played a part in Tennessee
history, lending his steel to the Osborne Brothers' version of Rocky Top,
a ubiquitous sonic presence on University of Tennessee football Saturdays.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but Rugg will be buried in
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