Grady Martin, the elite Nashville guitarist who made distinctive contributions to classic recordings such as "El Paso," "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "Battle of New Orleans" and worked with artists ranging from Bing Crosby to Buddy Holly to Joan Baez, has died. He was 72.
Martin and Chet Atkins were said to be the only musicians to accompany both Hank Williams and Elvis Presley. Martin died Monday at Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg, Tenn. The sideman's health had eroded badly in recent years and, in 1994, forced him to leave Willie Nelson's touring band. Martin was a member of the celebrated Nashville collective nicknamed the "A-Team," which included guitarists Atkins and Hank Garland, drummer Buddy Harman and pianist Floyd Cramer.
Martin became a member of Presley's circle of musicians from 1962 (Pot Luck Sessions) to 1965 (Harum Scarum Sessions) and, as music flavors and directions changed, he would go on to work with younger artists such as Baez, Kris Kristofferson and J.J. Cale.