Little Roy Wiggins - The Fabulous Steel Guitar Artistry Of Little Roy Wiggins LPModern Harmonic
Established in 1953, Starday Records quickly became one of the premier independent country labels of the 1950s. Specializing in hardcore honky tonk and rockabilly, Starday released some of the wildest rockabilly of the 1950s and launched the career of country music superstar George Jones. When label co-owner “Pappy” Daily sold out to his partner Don Pierce in 1958, country music was transitioning to a slicker, pop-oriented sound. Pierce chose a different path, targeting a still-thriving market for LPs of traditional country music and such niche genres as bluegrass and steel guitar instrumentals. Over the next 10 years, Pierce built Starday into the largest independent country label in the world through a massive mail order operation and a rack jobber distribution network placing Starday’s distinctive-looking LPs in truck stops and rural markets across the U.S. Modern Harmonic is proud to begin its exploration of the vast and eccentric Starday catalog with classic steel guitar instrumental long players.
“Little” Roy Wiggins’ love for Hawaiian steel guitar began at the age of six when he heard pioneering guitarist Burt Hutcherson on the Grand Ole Opry in the early 1930s. By the time Wiggins was 15, he was playing lap steel with Opry stars Paul Howard and His Arkansas Cotton Pickers, and in 1943 he joined Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys. When vocalist Eddy Arnold left the Golden West Cowboys for a solo career, Wiggins followed and the pair established a distinctive country sound based on Arnold’s crooning vocals and Wiggins’ light “ting-a-ling” vibrato on the lap steel. Their successful partnership resulted in an astounding string of country hits in the late 40s and into the early 50s.
When Arnold’s recordings began to move toward mainstream pop, Wiggins began recording albums as a solo artist for various labels. The Fabulous Steel Guitar Artistry of ‘Little’ Roy Wiggins was cut at Starday Studios in 1964. Wiggins paid tribute to the Hawaiian music that first inspired hillbilly steel players with an album that mixed updated covers of classic island tunes and original compositions — all highlighting his unique mastery of the steel guitar. Mastered from the original analog mono reels and pressed on white vinyl, Modern Harmonic brings this essential Hawaiian steel from Music City to your record collection!