Archive for March, 2023

Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 22 March 2023

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023


The owner of the 23,000-member Steel Guitar Forum, Bobby Lee, died March 7 at age 73. His daughter, Shoshanah Marohn, says he was at home in Petaluma, California. listening to the Beatles sing “All You Need Is Love.” He grew up in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, the eldest of six children in a musical family. In the fall of 1967, he hitchhiked to San Francisco. He started playing a lap steel somewhere around 1970. While working at the Mesa Boogie amp factory in Petaluma in the early 1980s, he started a quarterly newsletter for musicians, mailed by his wife and four daughters. He then got a job writing computer software, all the while playing regularly in bands. He had a vision of using the internet to connect everyone in the world who played steel guitar. The current iteration of the Steel Guitar Forum has been going since 1997.


Diane’s Country Music Newsletter — 8 March 2023

Wednesday, March 8th, 2023


A month or so ago, I called David Ball to ask about his 1994 Warner Bros. showcase when he sang “Thinkin’ Problem.” During our conversation, he asked, “Do you know who Gordon Mote is? I think people would love to hear about him.” So I contacted Gordon, and the session piano player agreed to talk to me. “You are so sweet to want me to be a part of your newsletter,” he said. “Tell David I appreciate the shoutout. We haven’t worked together in quite a while, but he’s a great talent and a super-duper guy.”

Gordon was born and raised in Attalla, Alabama, a little town near Gadsden. He started playing the piano at age three. They were at his grandmother’s house in 1973 for Thanksgiving. The children all banged occasionally on her old upright piano, but this particular day Gordon sat down and played “Jesus Loves Me” with both hands. “It was a total miracle,” Gordon says. “There’s just no explaining it except that it was a God thing.” He’s been playing ever since.