b. Ray Quarles Edenton, 8 November 1926, Mineral, Virginia, USA. Renowned session guitarist Ray Edenton has long been recognized as one of Nashville’s most prolific and reliable session musicians. Though his preference is for rhythm guitar, he is also equally adaptable to lead guitar, mandolin and bass. His grandfather was a fiddler, and his two brothers were also musicians; as a result, he found himself playing his first amateur contests from the age of six. Following his discharge from service after World War II, he earned money from truck driving while playing occasional singer-songwriter sets in the evenings. He then became a session radio player with the Old Dominion Barn Dance and Joe Maphis’ Korn Krackers. After a major scare with his health during the late 40s, when he contracted tuberculosis, Edenton began his first round of engagements at the Grand Ole Opry, later travelling with artists including Chet Atkins, George Morgan and Minnie Pearl. His first major Nashville recording session came in March 1953, Webb Pierce cutting the country number 1 ‘There Stands The Glass’. Edenton’s guitar-playing also appeared on Kitty Wells and Red Foley’s ‘One By One’, another chart-topper. Much more recently he has played on pop records recorded by Foley’s granddaughter, Debby Boone. As well as working as a musician, Edenton has also branched out into record production, writing and plugging. However, he is still best known for his session work, which by the mid-90s included names ranging from the Beach Boys and Henry Mancini to Andy Williams and Reba McEntire.
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