Other Players

Mr Gospel Guitar

1

We all have influences. Some small. Some great. We are a community of guitar players, and all of us have learned from others in one way or another. My Mom taught me my first 3 chords, and encouraged me, even before I started to school. I dreamed of being in the music/entertainment business when I was little, but for various reasons, that never happened. It would take a book to explain it all, and this is not the time nor place.

When I got married in 1964, I pretty well took a hiatus from all things musical for over 30 years. I had never heard of Stevie Ray Vaughn until folks were talking about his helicopter crash, and I began to find out about him. I began to realize how much I had been missing. Not too long after that an evangelist came to our church that was the best guitar player I had heard in many years. His name was Dwayne Friend, and I vaguely remembered his name from my brief exposure to professional gospel music in the early 70's. He played guitar for The Happy Goodman Family. He won the very first Dove Award ever given in 1969 for Instrumentalist. The next year he won the same award again, along with another Dove for Songwriter Of The Year, with a song he co-wrote with Donnie Sumner, The Night Before Easter. He is remembered well by gospel guitar players for his rendition of Goodbye World, Goodbye.

I credit Dwayne for turning me back on to my guitar playing. He took the time to talk to me about how I was neglecting a gift I had been given. He encouraged me to go to the CAAS in Nashville. This is an annual gathering of Chet Atkins enthusiasts from all over the world. Conchieta and I attended our first convention in 1999. The CAAS in itself has been a great source of encouragement.

Last week when I was in OKC playing for some folks, one of the audience members told me afterwards that Dwayne was not well. Ever since we became acquainted, we have tried to stay in touch. We have played a few dates together, and even recorded a duet album together back about 2002 or so. It has been 2 or 3 months since I last called him, so the next day I tried to call him and got no answer. I tried another time or two with no answer, and finally this last Tuesday, he answered his phone. His voice was very weak and shaky, and he told me that was pretty much the way he felt. Weak and shaky. We talked a little bit about the usual stuff. You know, guitars. And he seemed to be perkier by the time we finished our conversation. I kept it short purposely. I hope he gets stronger real soon. I owe Dwayne a lot because of his encouragement.

Well, you gotta hear him play. Here he is in his hey day.

2

Richard, wonderful post. It's a great tribute to your friendly friend Friend.

But it's also good to learn more of your backstory. I remember the great interview we did one Sunday morning at a Nashville Roundup, when we were streaming online, where we covered a lot of ground. (And which I stupidly failed to record.) But I don't remember your 30-year hiatus coming up.

We need more deep background posts like this. It gives the site a lot more texture, and lets guys get to know each other better.

3

Nice story Richard. And boy, he's some picker!

4

Not possible to view any of his tracks here in BG from links on the site, but I managed to find him on youtube.

Wonderful fast accompanying licks between stating the theme, great ability, and a very unique and seemingly effortless style.. (hiding years and years of hard practice) Not surprising that with a talent like that, that he won so many accolades..
Thanks.

5

Thanks for a well written post, Richard and for introducing me to your friend Dwayne.

Here's hoping he rebounds and strengthens.

6

Sorry to hear that your friend isn't well. I pray he heals soon.

Serious picker, aint he? That's some real good stuff there.

You're a humble and talented guy, Mr. Hudson.

7

Sorry Dwayne is not feeling well. I first learned about him on the Chetboard from Chuck S. Dwayne's and awesome player. I've listened to many of his songs and learned a couple along the way. Great topic Richard.

8

This is a cut from the album Dwayne and I recorded together. It shows his softer side. He is playing a beautiful Super Chet and takes the lead. I am playing a Tennessean I once owned with TV's classic pickups. That old familiar melody with so many titles, but this time we call it The Great Speckled Bird.

The Great Speckled Bird

9

This is a cut from the album Dwayne and I recorded together. It shows his softer side. He is playing a beautiful Super Chet and takes the lead. I am playing a Tennessean I once owned with TV's classic pickups. That old familiar melody with so many titles, but this time we call it The Great Speckled Bird.

The Great Speckled Bird

– Richard Hudson

Very smooth and sweet Richard. Love the ending riff. Is there a disc available?

11

Thanks, JW. They are all gone.

– Richard Hudson

Thanks for the comeback Richard.

12

Dig that Tal Farlow guitar! And properly wielded too!

13

Some years back Doyle Dykes found a Tal Farlow Gibson, and as he was proudly showing it to me he commented that he thought Dwayne’s best tones came from that guitar.

14

I just wanted to jump on here real quick and thank you all again for the kind words and thoughts about Dwayne. I just got off the phone with him just now, and he sounds so much better, so, your good thoughts and prayers and whatever else have helped immensely. Thank you.

15

I'm glad to hear the good news Richard. Best wishes to Dwayne for continued good health


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