Walter Haynes passes

Walter HaynesWalter Haynes, steel guitar player and producer, passed away on Thursday, January 1, in Tyler, Texas. He was 80 years old.

Born December 14, 1928, in Kingsport, Tennessee, Haynes was an under-rated steel guitar player who worked with Little Jimmy Dickens, Ferlin Husky and Webb Pierce.

However, Haynes’ legacy is not solely defined by his steel guitar playing prowess. He was the producer at several of Bill Monroe’s recording sessions from December 2, 1970 through to May 1983. As well as the regular studio sessions, Haynes oversaw the recording of a ‘live’ album, that at Bean Blossom, and the gospel set at Cathedral Caverns, near Huntsville, Alabama, the recordings from which remained unreleased for over two decades.

Haynes was producer for as many as 40 Monroe Decca/MCA sessions, which yielded recordings of such titles as Kentucky Waltz, My Little Georgia Rose, Tallahassee, Milenburg Joy, Tall Pines, Walls Of Time [both with James Monroe], Jerusalem Ridge, Old, Old House, Weary Traveler, My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darling and That’s Christmas Time To Me.

Additionally, Haynes produced the wonderful all-instrument album, Master Of Bluegrass, which includes the immediately emotive cut My Last Days On Earth, and the less successful collection, Bill Monroe And Friends.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.