Along with Speedy West, Buddy Emmons, and Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney was one of the true steel guitar innovators in country music. He was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, and first became interested in the instrument after hearing another steel pioneer, Leon McAuliffe. As a teenager in the '40s, Mooney moved to California, where he gradually developed his style by exhaustive playing with numerous bands, in both live and studio situations. In the '50s and '60s, Mooney was hired as a staff musician for Capitol Records, where he played on the early recordings of Buck Owens and is heard prominently on several Merle Haggard hits, including Swinging Doors, The Bottle Let Me Down, and (All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers. Throughout the years, Mooney left his mark on recordings by Wynn Stewart (that's his steel on It's Such a Pretty World Today), Warren Smith, Rose Maddox, Skeets McDonald, Bobby Austin, Bonnie Owens, Wanda Jackson, Donna Fargo, and Jessi Colter. His longest-running stint was with Waylon Jennings, whom Mooney joined in 1970 and stayed with until he retired in the early '90s. While Mooney was known mainly for his steel playing, he also dabbled in songwriting. His biggest hit was Crazy Arms, which he co-wrote with Chuck Seals in the mid-'50s. Even though Mooney spent most of his life playing on the recordings of others, he did release an instrumental album on Capitol Records in 1968 called Corn Pickin' and Slick Slidin' with guitarist James Burton. Mooney died on March 19, 2011 of complications from cancer at his home in Kennedale, Texas. He was 82. ~ Al Campbell, Rovi

Ralph Mooney " Crazy Arms"
Ralph Mooney "Medley Hits"
Paul Franklin On Steel Guitar Player Ralph Mooney
Lonesome On'ry and Mean Licks by Ralph Mooney @
New Moon
Ralph Mooney "Moon's Boogie"
Waylon Jennings - Rainy Day Woman
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