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Hank Garland Dies

Guitarist Hank Garland died on Monday December 27, 2004 of a staph infection at age 74. The guitarist, born Walter Garland, performed with numerous artists, including Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline and Charlie Parker.

Garland started playing guitar at age 6 and by age 12 was appearing on radio shows. He was discovered at the age of 14 at a South Carolina music store where he had gone to buy a guitar string. At age 19, Garland recorded his first million-selling hit, country tune “Sugar Foot Rag.” During the 1950s and ’60s, he played with Elvis on such songs as “Little Sister” and “Big Hunk of Love.”

In addition to performing with Elvis and other stars in Nashville, Garland also inspired jazz instrumentalists such as George Benson, playing with musicians like George Shearing and Charlie Parker. He also performed with a large roster of country musicians: Brenda Lee, Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins, Boots Randolph, Conway Twitty and Hank Williams Sr.

Garland is survived by his brother Billy.

Originally Published