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Pete Drake
Musician/Record Producer

Roddis Franklin "Pete" Drake was born in Augusta on Oct. 8, 1932. He died in Nashville, Tenn., on July 29, 1988.

He was a record producer, record company founder and musician whose steel guitar playing was heard on hundreds of hit recordings including such gigantic chart toppers as Lynn Anderson's Rose Garden, Charlie Rich's Behind Closed Doors, Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay and Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man.

He played his steel guitar on five of Elvis Presley's movie soundtracks. It was estimated that he played on 38 of 48 BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) award-winning recordings in 1966 alone.

Mr. Drake’s father was a Pentecostal preacher in Augusta. His brothers, Jack and Bill, later performed as the Drake Brothers. Jack was a bass player for Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb’s band, The Texas Troubadours, for 24 years.

Mr. Drake organized a band in Atlanta in the '50s that included future country stars Jerry Reed, Doug Kershaw, Roger Miller and Joe South. He moved to Nashville in 1959. He had his own first hit in 1962 with his "talking steel guitar" playing Forever.

He met George Harrison, formerly of The Beatles, in Bob Dylan's New York house and that led to Mr. Drake recording in England on Harrison's All Things Must Pass album. He met another former Beatle, Ringo Starr, through Harrison, and talked him into coming to Nashville. He produced Mr. Starr’s best selling Beaucoup of Blues album in mid-1970, which marked the first time a Beatle had recorded in the U.S. 






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