We’re sad to report that our friend and legendary steel guitarist Ralph Mooney passed away on Sunday, March 20th, at age 82. During his long career, Mooney played alongside a “who’s who” of country music giants, including Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Wynn Stewart, Wanda Jackson and a 20-year run as a member of Waylon Jennings’ band The Waylors beginning in 1970. He was one of the “chief architects of the Bakersfield sound,” according to Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers founding member Chris Hillman. Mooney played on hundreds of recordings and was also a songwriter, co-authoring “Crazy Arms,” a #1 hit in 1956 for Ray Price. Prominently featuring the steel guitar, the song made Price a star and popularized the 4/4 “Texas Shuffle” beat. Mooney reprised the song in 2010, recording an instrumental version with Marty Stuart for Stuart’s album Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions. “Hell, there’s only steel guitar player and it’s Ralph Mooney,” the late Jennings was fond of saying. Every time we listen to Ralph’s classic work on songs like “Under Your Spell Again,” “Ladies Love Outlaws” and “The Bottle Let Me Down,” we couldn’t agree more.