Reso-guitar legend Phil Leadbetter has come up with a perfect way to honor his dear friend, the recently deceased Steve Gulley.
Steve and Phil had been friends since boyhood, and worked together for years as founding members of Grasstowne. Realizing the hole that has been dug for Steve’s family by both his medical bills, and the loss of his income – not to mention the emotional damage – Leadbetter decided to offer all proceeds to Debbie Gulley from a song that she sang with Steve, Yesterday’s Gone, on Phil’s upcoming album with The All-Stars of Bluegrass.
The project in question, Swing For The Fences, won’t be released until late September, but Pinecastle Records has made Yesterday’s Gone available as a single in advance. So if you download the song before the album drops, the money goes to the Gulley family.
Phil offered this lovely tribute to Steve as the song is released.
“Steve Gulley was one of the most talented guys I have ever known. One of the best singers ever in bluegrass music. Much more than this, one of the kindest, biggest-hearted guys you could ever meet.
Steve was one of the most devout Christians I have ever known. Steve wasn’t afraid to talk about his faith no matter where he was. He really loved the Lord.
One of the most dedicated family men I have ever known, he loved his wife Debbie, his kids, and his grandkids. Steve was really loved and admired by so many. That love and admiration went way beyond the bluegrass field. I know if he was here today, he would be shocked at all the tributes that have been coming in for him.
Just a couple months ago, Steve was working on a side project with me, along with Alan Bibey, Jason Burleson, and Robert Hale. One of the last tunes to be completed was a song called Yesterday’s Gone. Steve totally killed the song with his rendition!! We needed a female to sing a tenor part of the song.
Steve’s wife Debbie had a long career in country music. She worked many years at The Renfro Valley Barn Dance as a featured vocalist, and was a natural to sing this part. I am so thankful and blessed that we were able to get them both together on this one song singing together
Debbie called me last week (the day after Steve’s death), and one of the things she brought up was how thankful she was to sing this song with Steve, and how much it meant to be asked to be part of this recording. She was such an obvious choice to do this.
Today, I just listened to this song a couple times, and I realized that I was the one that was really blessed by getting to have both of these incredible singers, husband and wife, singing a love song to each other on our recording.”
Here’s a listen to Yesterday’s Gone.
Phil has also started a GoFundMe campaign to assist Debbie with medical expenses. Please contribute if you can.