Vern Monnett

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Vern Monnett
Vern Monnett at the Richie Hayward Benefit Novemver 4, 2009.JPG
Vern Monnett at the Richie Hayward Benefit, 2009.
Background information
Born (1959-11-15) November 15, 1959 (age 54)
Leeds, UtahUnited States
Genres Country, Rock
Occupations Musician, actor, producer
Instruments Guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, dobro, vocals
Years active 1975–present
Labels Warner Brothers, Decca, MCA
Associated acts Randy Meisner, Billy Swan, Freddy Fender, Texas Tornados, Gary Allan, Delaney Bramlett, Jo-El Sonnier

Vern Monnett (born November 15, 1959)[1] is an American country and rock musician as well as an actor, producer, and composer. He has recorded and toured with such artists as Freddy Fender, Randy Meisner, Billy Swan, and Charlie Rich, Jr. Monnett sings as well as plays the guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin and Dobro. He is the great-grandson of musician Wilbur Monnett, who played cornet and trumpet for John Phillip Sousa and Arthur Pryor.

Monnett graduated from Hurricane High School in 1977, and enlisted that year in the Army as a computer repairman for the HAWK missile system. Monnett's early career included European dates on Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell tour as an opening act with the band Enertia.[2]

Meisner, Rich and Swan[edit]

After moving to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, Monnett began working as the lead guitarist and pedal steel player with Eagles and Poco bassist Randy Meisner, Billy Swan, and Charlie Rich Jr. This would result in the album "Meisner, Swan and Rich" (featuring drummer John Molo)[3] and tours of the United States and Europe.

Movies and Television[edit]

Monnett began work in motion pictures and television in the early 1990s. His first role was with River Phoenix and a young Sandra Bullock[4] in the 1993 movie "The Thing Called Love." The 2006 Directors Cut DVD of this movie is a New York Times Critics Choice.[5] He is featured in "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1993) as part of the Dolly Parton band.[6] Monnett also acted and submitted soundtrack contributions for many television shows including "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,"[7] "Murder She Wrote,"[8] "Burke's Law,"[9] "Beverly Hills, 90210,"[10] "Boston Common,"[11] The Gong Show, and the pilot for "Cavemen: The Series," [12] which was listed as one of the 25 WORST television shows of all time by the Chicago Tribune.[13] Monnett is also featured on the soundtrack of the 1997 cult movie Space Truckers.

Monnett has also appeared in several live television performances. He appeared on CMT's "Nashville Now" with Gary Allan, where Monnett played guitar on the top ten hit "It Would Be You." Monnett also appeared live with Freddy Fender in the 2002 American Latin Music Awards (ALMA) show, filmed at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles,[14] where Fender was awarded the Richie Valens Pioneer Award. This was a prime time special broadcast live on ABC.

Freddy Fender / The Texas Tornados[edit]

Monnett began working as the pedal steel guitarist for Tex Mex legend Freddy Fender in 1993. He worked with Fender until Fender's death in 2005. This collaboration would result in recording two albums[15] and worldwide touring to Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the United States. During this period, Monnett also recorded and played with the Texas Tornados.[16]

Vern Monnett in The Netherlands with the Texas Tornados, 1996.

He is featured on the Grammy nominated album "4 Aces." Monnett also recorded with Tornados' members Augie Meyers ("Live from Lake Taco") and ("Blame it on Love")[17] and Doug Sahm ("Sooner or Later") on the "Songs for the Alamo" album.

Gary Allan[edit]

In 1997, Monnett was hired as the lead guitarist for recording artist Gary Allan. Monnett supported the "Used Heart for Sale" and "It Would Be You" albums, and toured the United States. Monnett is featured with Allan on the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas song "It Must Have Been Old Santa Claus"[18] as a background vocalist, and co-wrote "Another Place in Time"[19] with Allan, Odie Blackmon & Jake Kelly. Monnett was on the forty-four city 1997–1998 Crown Royal "Untamed and True" tour that featured Mark Chesnutt, David Lee Murphy, and Allan.[20] Although based in Los Angeles, Monnett spent most of 1997 living in Nashville, TN.

Jo-El Sonnier[edit]

In 2009, Monnett played guitar with Cajun music legend Jo-El Sonnier ("Tear Stained Letter") and toured Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.

Collaborations with Other Artists[edit]

Monnett has also had the opportunity to work with other artists. The collaborations included several USO tours with R.B. Stone that spanned the globe from the Middle East (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Israel, Egypt, The United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait) to Japan and Okinawa. The second Japanese tour featured Earl Poole Ball on piano. Monnett played and recorded with the legendary Delaney Bramlett, and was asked at one point to join his band. Monnett played on Bramlett's duet with recording artist Becca.[21] Monnett toured and recorded with impressionist Greg London in the U.S. and Mexico.[22] Monnett joined headliner Albert Lee during the November 4, 2009, Benefit for Richie Hayward, drummer for Little Feat.[23] Monnett has been a featured clinician at the Musicians Institute (the former GIT) in Hollywood since 2005.

Production credits[edit]

Monnett has owned and operated "Chateau Monnett Studios" in Los Angeles since the early '90s. He has produced many albums and is featured as a producer and musician on Katie Trickett's 1995 album "Let Your Heart Run" which includes tracks featuring former bandmates Meisner, Rich and Swan, Augie Meyers, and cameo appearances by Jerry Scheff (Elvis Presley), Earl Poole Ball (Johnny Cash), and Cary Parks (Boy Howdy). Monnett's work with Liza G. Fly on the song "The Palace Dance Floor" was included on the soundtracks of the movies "The Blue Motel" and "Back to Even." Monnett also produced the album "You Come to Me" for Los Angeles based Maggie Brandon, which featured the duet "This I Promise You for Life" with Rick Springfield.[24] Monnett's internet based recording system allowed him to be included on the 2009 "Flower Petals" album with New Orleans band "The Subdudes."[25] The recording was done in Los Angeles for the now Boulder, Colorado based band. The finished track was added and mixed at Criteria Studios in Miami by legendary engineers The Albert Brothers.

Selected discography[edit]

Artist Album Year Label
Roger Varian (with David Crosby) Shadows in Time 1994 AIM
Doug Sahm Songs for the Alamo 1994 Stage Door
Freddy Fender Mean Woman 1995 FF
Texas Tornados 4 Aces 1996 Warner Brothers / Reprise
Freddy Fender Crazy Cat 1996 FF
*Katie Trickett Let Your Heart Run 1997 Via Marina
Cornbread Buddha (John Andrew Parks, Chris Speding, Joe Osbourne, Jr., Michael Botts and Vern Monnett) Angels in Babylon 1997 Planettx
Augie Meyers Alive and Well at Lake Taco 1999 White Boy
Gary Allan Wrangler Cowboy Christmas 1999 Universal Music
Steve Young Primal Young 1999 Appleseed / Shock
Delaney Bramlett Don't Pour Water (On a Drowning Man) 2000 Magnolia Gold
Meisner, Swan, and Rich Meisner, Swan, and Rich 2002 Dreamsville
Augie Meyers Blame it on Love 2002 Texas World
*Maggie Brandon (with Rick Springfield) You Come to Me 2003 QBC
Freddy Fender Live! Special Edition (DVD) 2004 St. Claire
The Subdudes Flower Petals 2009 429 Records

* These albums were produced by Vern Monnett


  1. ^ Utah Bureau of Live Statistics, 1959.
  2. ^ "Black Sabbath 1980 Tour Dates June 2, 1980". Official Black Sabbath Website. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Vern Monnett Allmusic Discography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  4. ^ "Sandra Bullock Website "The Thing Called Love"". Sandra Bullock Website. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  5. ^ Kehr, Dave (March 14, 2006). "New York Times Critic's Choice Award "The Thing Called Love"". New York Times Website. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  6. ^ "Wikepedia, The Beverly Hillbillies Film". Wikepedia Article. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  7. ^ "Lois and Clark Website". Season 1 Episode 8 The Green Green Glow of Home (ABC – Airdate 11/14/1993). Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  8. ^ "IMDb Website". Season 11 Episode 223 "Death in Hawaii" (CBS – Airdate 10/16/1994). Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  9. ^ " Website". Season 2, Episode 7 "Who Killed the Centerfold?" (CBS Airdate 6/1/1995). Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  10. ^ " " Website". Season 6 Episode 18 "Turn Back the Clock" (FOX – Airdate 1/3/1996). Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  11. ^ "IMDb Website". Season 2 Episode 13 "This Ain't No Party, This Aint No Disco" (NBC – Airdate 10/13/1996). Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  12. ^ "Pilot," "TV.Com Website". Cavemen Series Pilot (ABC – Airdate 9/10/2008). Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  13. ^ "Chicago Tribune List: "Top 25 worst TV Shows Ever"". Chicago Tribune Bottom 25 list. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Billboard Magazine". Billboards Review of the 3rd annual ALMA Awards. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  15. ^ "Rolling Stone Magazine". Freddy Fender Discography "Mean Woman" (1995) and "Live in Las Vegas" (1996). Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  16. ^ "Tower Records Website". Texas Tornados 4 Aces Musicians Credits. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  17. ^ "Barnes and Noble Website". Vern Monnett Albums. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
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