Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17: Gary Talley guitarist, singer for the Box Tops - "The Letter" - is 66-years-old today.

Gary Talley began his career as lead guitarist for the Grammy-nominated group "The Box Tops" Formed in 1963, the Box Tops, from Memphis, Tennessee. Originally known as The Devilles. They were often referred to as a "Blue-eyed soul group." By 1967, they changed their name to "Box Tops" to prevent confusion with another band recording at the time with the name "The Devilles." There biggest hit records included "The Letter," "Neon Rainbow," "Soul Deep," "I Met Her in Church," and "Cry Like A Baby."

After The Box Tops, Gary played with musicians Jerry Butler, Billy Lee Riley, Hank Ballard, and Ace Cannon at the legendary Sounds of Memphis Studio and later at Universal Studios also in Memphis.

His reputation led him to the larger market of Atlanta in 1972, where he toured with Pat Boone, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dobie Gray, Freda Payne, Billy Joe Royal, and many others. Gary relocated to Nashville in 1981 where he recorded with Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Sam Moore (of the duo Sam and Dave), and others. As a songwriter, he has penned cuts for Keith Whitley, The Box Tops, James Cotton, T.G. Shepard, Fish Heads & Rice and others.

He has continued writing and teaching, while at the same time playing television appearances, live events or touring with artists like Billy Preston, Sam Moore, Pam Tillis, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Rufus Thomas, Tim McGraw, The Drifters, Sam "the Sham" Samudio, David Lee Murphy, Bobby Whitlock, Tracy Nelson, Mac Gayden, Bobby Bare, Ray Vega, Deirdre Reilly, the Hombres, Jason D. Williams, James Carr, and Little Eva among others. Gary is also a renowned guitar instructor.

In 1999, Gary created “Guitar Playing for Songwriters” the first instructional guitar video designed for songwriters. His specialized technique is tailored to accommodate the needs of songwriters. His students have included stars like Pam Tillis, and Sherri√© Austin, Amanda Hunt-Taylor, Rory Bourke, Monty Powell, Holly Lamar and Tom Douglas. In 2012 Gary formed "Gary Talley and The Road Home" a band with three other world-class musicians in Nashville. John Terrence on bass (Billy Joe Royal, Charlie Louvin) Dave Hoffner on keyboards (Michael Martin Murphy, Lynyrd Skynrd, Willie Nelson) and Charlie Morgan on drums (Elton John, Paul McCartney).

For more about Gary & The Box Tops, visit these Websites:

-- "The Letter"
-- "Neon Rainbow"
-- "Cry Like A Baby"

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