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Speedy West

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Speedy West
Background information
Birth nameWesley Webb West
Born(1924-01-25)January 25, 1924
Springfield, Missouri U.S.
DiedNovember 15, 2003(2003-11-15) (aged 79)
Broken Bow, Oklahoma
GenresCountry music
Occupation(s)Record producer, guitarist
Instrument(s)Pedal steel guitar
Years active1947-1981
Spouse(s)Opal Mae (married 1941-1964)

Wesley Webb West (January 25, 1924 – November 15, 2003), better known as Speedy West, was an American pedal steel guitarist and record producer. He frequently played with Jimmy Bryant, both in their own duo and as part of the regular Capitol Records backing band for Tennessee Ernie Ford and many others. The duo also recorded with non-Capitol artists in Los Angeles. In 1960, Speedy played on and produced Loretta Lynn's first single. During his time at Capitol, he played on over 6000 recordings, including pop records by artists like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.[1] West, who began playing Paul Bigsby's second ever pedal steel guitar in 1947,[1] was the first country steel guitarist to use a pedal guitar. Nashville players like Bud Isaacs would adopt it in the early 1950s. After a stroke in 1981, West was unable to play pedal steel, but would continue to attend steel guitar conventions. His health would continue to deteriorate and he would pass away on November 15, 2003.[2]

Partial discography[edit]

  • Speedy West And Jimmy Bryant - Two Guitars Country Style (1954 - Capitol Records)
  • West Of Hawaii (1958 - Capitol Records)
  • Steel Guitar (1960 - Capitol Records)
  • Guitar Spectacular (1962 - Capitol Records)
  • Speedy (1977 - Steel Guitar Record Club)


  1. ^ a b "Speedy West, 79, Steel-Guitar Innovator". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2003-11-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-02.
  2. ^ "Speedy West Biography". musicianguide.com. Retrieved 2023-01-02.

External links[edit]