Lloyd Green

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Lloyd Green
Birth nameLloyd Green
Born (1937-10-04) October 4, 1937 (age 83)
Leaf, Mississippi, U.S.
InstrumentsSteel Guitar
Years active1947-present

Lloyd Green (born October 4, 1937 in Leaf, Mississippi)[1] is an American steel guitarist. Green is most notable for his session work, having played on records with artists such as The Byrds, Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, Alan Jackson, The Monkees, Jean Stafford, Lynn Anderson, Don Williams, Paul McCartney, Charley Pride, Bob Dylan, Johnny Paycheck, George Hamilton IV and many others.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lloyd Green was born on October 4, 1937 in Leaf, Mississippi. He moved with his family to Mobile, Alabama at the age of four, where he began to take music lessons.[3]

At the age of seven he learned to play a Hawaiian string guitar and eventually learned how to play the steel guitar. By the time he was ten, he was playing professionally in clubs a couple of nights a week with a rhythm guitarist.[3]

Green graduated from high school in 1955,[1] and went on to study psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He left college at the age of nineteen and went to Nashville to seek fame as a steel guitarist.[3]

Over the years, Lloyd Green has become one of the most popular and respected pedal steel guitarist of all time, and arguably the best player of the E9th tuning on the pedal steel guitar.

Session work[edit]

Green's joined Faron Young's road band in December 1956 and stayed for 18 months.[3] He soon played steel guitar on his first session, George Jones' "Too Much Water".

After he could not afford to renew his union card, he moved back to Mobile, but eventually moved back to Nashville and became a shoe salesman. He told his story to one of his customers, widow of publisher Fred Rose, and she renewed it for him.[3]

The first successful session he played on was Warner Mack's "The Bridge Washed Out" in 1965. For the next 15 years, Green averaged 400 sessions a year. The artists whose recordings he played on included Faron Young, Freddie Hart, the Byrds, Charley Pride, and Paul McCartney. He turned down a U.S. tour with McCartney due to the fact that he didn't want to lose work in Nashville.[3]

In the 1980s an ear infection forced Green to stop working, but he eventually returned to session work. He also plays live on occasion.

Lloyd Green was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1988.[4]

He has performed with over 500 artists, has played on 115 number one hits, and over 100 top ten hits.

He was profiled in the September 2008 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine by music historian and journalist Rich Kienzle.


Oahu acoustic[edit]

The guitar from Oahu Music Company on which Lloyd started learning.

Fender Stringmaster[edit]

After hearing Bud Isaacs playing on 'Slowly' Lloyd added his own pedal.

Bigsby of Faron Young[edit]

During the year and a half with Faron Young, Lloyd played Faron's Bigsby. This guitar was used on Lloyd's first session with George Jones.

Rickenbacker double-neck with 2 retrofitted pedals[edit]

Guitars used by Lloyd Green during his recording career:

April 1964-Oct. 1964.....Bigsby double-neck in Sho-Bud cabinet[edit]

Nov. 1964-Oct. 1966.....Sho-Bud permanent double-neck[edit]

Oct. 1966 -Dec. 1970....Sho-Bud fingertip model double-neck[edit]

Green played a Sho-Bud Fingertip Double 10 on many gold and platinum records for hundreds of major artists such as Ann-Margret, Frank Sinatra, Lynn Anderson, Charley Pride, George Jones, Ferlin Husky, Freddie Hart, Jimmy Dean, Dolly Parton, Faron Young, Johnny Paycheck, Roy Acuff, Bobby Bare, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Brenda Lee, Jerry Reed, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Statler Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Peter, Paul and Mary, Marty Robbins and Hank Williams, Jr..[5]

1969-Now.... 1943 Dobro squareneck[edit]

Gifted to Lloyd by Hank Williams jr.

Dec. 1970-May 1973....Sho-Bud Baldwin[edit]

From December 1972 to May 1973 this became the prototype for all subsequent LDG and other manufacturers' lookalikes.

May 9, 1973-Nov. 1988...Sho-Bud LDG  [edit]

Lloyd Green designed the Sho-Bud LDG steel guitar. His first was delivered on May 9, 1973 at his home by David Jackson and Duane Marrs of Sho-Bud. It was the fourth and last Sho-Bud guitar that Lloyd played on sessions.

His LDG was used on between 5000 and 6000 sessions between 1973 and 1988. One notable song recorded with this steel was "Farewell Party" by Gene Watson.[5]

June 1988- Nov. 1988.... JCH (on recordings with Dolly Parton, Lorrie Morgan and Ricky Skaggs)[edit]

Lloyd also owned:

Sho-Bud LDG walnut color[edit]

1999 Green lacquered JCH[edit]

JCH with silver aprons[edit]




Year Album US Country Label
1964 Hawaiian Enchantment (his name is not featured on the cover) Modern Sound
Big Steel Guitar (aka The Big Steel Guitar) Time
1966 Day for Decision Little Darlin
1967 The Hit Sounds
1968 Mr. Nashville Sound 37 Chart
Cool Steel Man
1969 Green Country Little Darlin
1970 Moody River Chart
Music City Sound (with Pete Wade) MGM
1971 Lloyd Green and His Steel Guitar Prize
1973 Shades of Steel 21 Monument
1975 Steel Rides 47
Ten Shades of Green Midland
1977 Stainless Steel (aka Feelings) GRT
1980 Lloyd's of Nashville Midland
1992 Reflections Spark
2003 Revisited LG
2018 Journey to the Beginning: A Steel Guitar Tribute to The Byrds ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo' (with Jay Dee Maness) Coastal Bend

Also appears on[edit]

  • 1984: "The Celestial Sounds of Steel Guitars (VGK) with JB Van - produced by Robin Vosbury and Lloyd Green
  • 2010. The Lloyd Green Album (Red Beet) with Eric Brace
  • 2010: Master Sessions (Red Beet) with Eric Brace and Peter Cooper


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1967 "Pedal Pattle (aka Pedal Paddle) "The Hit Sounds"
1968 "Mr. Nashville Sound" Mr. Nashville Sound
1969 "Bar Hoppin'" Cool Steel Man
"Robin" Moody River
"Tell Ya What"
1970 "Ride Ride Ride" Mr. Nashville Sound
"My Happiness" (with Pete Wade) Music City Sound
"Release Me" (with Pete Wade)
1971 "Midnight Silence" Lloyd Green and His Steel Guitar
"Sound Waves"
1972 "Morning Has Broken" Shades of Steel
1973 "I Can See Clearly Now" 36 98
"Here Comes the Sun" 73
"Dixie Drive-In"
1974 "Atlantis"
"Seaside" Steel Rides
"Canadian Sunset"
1975 "Sally G"
"I Can Help"
1976 "Darisa" Ten Shades of Green
"You and Me" 92 Feelings
1977 "Feelings"
"Whistler" single only
1979 "Ricochet" Lloyd's of Nashville


  1. ^ a b "Lloyd Green". Answers.com. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  2. ^ "Lloyd Green Tribute". 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lloyd Green Biography". Oldies.com. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  4. ^ Scott, DeWitt. "The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame/". scottysmusic.com. The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Tony Rankin's Sho-Bud LDG". Archived from the original on 2000-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-26.