July 26, 2012
In 1967, while still an infant, Gary Talley began his career as lead guitarist for the Grammy-nominated group, The Box Tops. Their “blue-eyed soul” hits like “The Letter,” and “Cry Like a Baby” hit the charts like a tornado, selling millions of copies, and they continue to sweep across the country on radio stations today. The Box Tops disbanded in 1970, but their reunion nearly 30 years later in 1997 was kicked off with a national tour at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Gary still tours and records with the group, contributing original songs and background vocals.
After his initial stint with The Box Tops, Gary played with musicians Jerry Butler, Billy Lee Riley, Hank Ballard, andAce Cannon at the legendary Sounds of Memphis Studioand later at Universal Studios also in Memphis. His reputation led him to the larger market of Atlanta in 1972, where he toured with Pat Boone, Tennessee Ernie Ford,Dobie Gray, Freda Payne, Billy Joe Royal, and many others.
Gary relocated to Nashville in 1981 where he recorded withWillie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Sam Moore (of the duo Sam and Dave), and others. As a songwriter, he has penned cuts for Keith Whitley, The Box Tops, James Cotton, T.G. Shepard, Fish Heads & Rice and others. He has continued writing and teaching, while at the same time playing television appearances, live events or touring with artists like Billy Preston, Sam Moore, Pam Tillis, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Rufus Thomas,Tim McGraw, The Drifters, Sam “the Sham” Samudio, David Lee Murphy, Bobby Whitlock, Tracy Nelson,Mac Gayden, Bobby Bare, Ray Vega, Deirdre Reilly, the Hombres, Jason D. Williams, James Carr, andLittle Eva among others.
Internationally renowned publications like Acoustic Guitar and American Songwriter have published cover stories, articles and lessons about his career as a guitar instructor. In 1999, Gary created “Guitar Playing for Songwriters” the first instructional guitar video designed for songwriters. His specialized technique is tailored to accommodate the needs of songwriters. His students have included stars like Pam Tillis, and Sherrié Austin, Amanda Hunt-Taylor, Rory Bourke, Monty Powell, Holly Lamar and Tom Douglas.
In 2012 Gary formed “Gary Talley and The Road Home” a band with three other world-class musicians in Nashville. John Terrence on bass (Billy Joe Royal, Charlie Louvin) Dave Hoffner on keyboards (Michael Martin Murphy, Lynyrd Skynrd, Willie Nelson) and Charlie Morgan on drums (Elton John, Paul McCartney).
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