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Speedy West

11/17/2003 4:22 PM
Jim Jones
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Speedy West
Just saw this on the wire at work.  
 
COUNTRY-Obit-Steel Guitarist  
 
INDEX: Entertainment, Music  
 
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- One of the major innovators on the pedal steel guitar in country music has died.  
Wesley Webb ``Speedy'' West died Saturday in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  
He was 79.  
West was born in Springfield, Missouri, and moved to California following the Second World War.  
Taking a cue from recording star Alvino Rey, who introduced the pedal-steel guitar to pop audiences, West had a custom instrument that featured three necks and four pedals.  
West was the first country-music steel-guitarist to use pedals.  
He once claimed to have played on more than six-thousand records for 177 artists during his peak years in the 1950s and '60s -- everyone from country artists to pop stars like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore.  
He also recorded several highly-regarded albums under his name in collaboration with electric guitarist Jimmy Bryant.  
(AP, BN)  
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bjk