fan—this was in the mid-sixties. I thought that
I was listening to Waylon play guitar, only to
find out later that those early records featured
Wayne Moss on electric… the early Haggard
stuff was James Burton. It added more to the
mystique of “session players” in my mind.
A few years later in the early seventies, before
moving to town, I became a big Reggie Young
fan. I would buy any record regardless of who
the artists were, as long as Reggie played
guitar on it. When I finally moved to town and
got to know him as a friend it was the absolute best! My hero became my friend.
Is there a certain situation, recording,
session you’ll always remember?
One memorable moment was about 1979.
I had just started doing some sessions for
two or three songs. Marty asked the engineer
to clear off two tracks per song and told
him that I’d be laying down acoustic parts
and doubling the parts (very common to the
Nashville sound of acoustics). The engineer
said to Marty that there was only one open
track per song, so we had problems... well,
Marty asked me if I had a second acoustic
with me. I said yes, and we proceeded to put
two acoustics down at once on one mic, and
there I was two feet from Marty in a guitar
face-off! He was incredibly nice and fun to
work for, and to a newcomer at the time, I
was in Session Heaven! By the way, he let me
sign “leader” on the time card, which meant
double scale. A real prince of a guy!
What was the funniest thing that ever
happened to you while playing music?
I don’t do many endorsements, because I
actually play the ones I do endorse—I know,
call me crazy… I endorse Fender guitars,
Glendale guitar bridges, Alan Hamel guitar
pickups, Bob Sweet pedals, a lubricant called
“Nutsauce,” and my oldest son, Clay Hullett,
builds all my amps. Currently, I use two of his
Tweed 4x10 Bassman-style amps, and two
of his Tweed Deluxe-style amps. I love all of
these products. Any time you see me playing,
you can rest assured that I’m using all these
folks’ gear. I endorse all their stuff because
it’s the absolute best of the best.
Do you have a favorite guitar, amp and
effect and why they are your favorites?
My favorite electric guitar is a Fender
Telecaster or Esquire. I’ve used them the
most for over thirty years, and I think it’s
Pete Drake and a very few others in town.
Pete had pulled some strings and got me on
a couple of sessions for a guy named Eddie
Fox. He was a guy that ran a sixteen track
recording studio that Marty Robbins owned,
and if someone that Marty met out on the
road wanted to cut a little record he would
send them to Eddie. Well, Eddie called me
one day when I was hanging out at Pete’s
studio—they were only about 1/2 block
apart. He asked if I had my guitars with me,
because he had some acoustic parts that
needed redoing, and he asked if I would
mind helping him out. I said “Sure,” figuring
it might be a freebie but it would be worth
it to get in Eddie’s good graces... I walked
in the studio and there was Marty Robbins!
Eddie introduced me and went on to say that
Marty needed some rhythm guitar tracks on
I was recording an album one time for B.J.
Thomas, and we were in the middle of the
session when Leon Russell walked in. The
producer, Pete Drake, stopped us in the
middle of the take and moved Pig Robbins
over to the electric piano, and asked Leon to
play the grand piano. We didn’t even run it
down any further. B.J. was cutting the gospel standard “Oh, Happy Day.” Pete said,
“Leon, you know this song, just wing it.” We
cut it in one take and it was fabulous... we all
piled into the booth to listen, and Pete was
really pleased. At the end of the playback, he
looked up to ask Leon if he’d like to play on
the next song, too. Leon had slipped off into
the night… out the door and gone, just like
the Lone Ranger or something. It was wild.
too late to try to change me—although I
carry a great Strat and a Les Paul with me
to sessions, and use them as well. The Tele
is my “go to first” electric. For acoustic, my
favorites are two that I own. One is a 1961
Martin D- 21. I’ve used it on many Nashville
records—Merle Haggard, George Jones,
Tammy Wynette, Martina McBride, etc. The
other favorite acoustic is a 1964 Epiphone
Texan. It’s a perfect twin to one that Paul
McCartney uses all the time. It sounds
great… and very Beatles-like, I might add.
What was your first guitar ever, and do
you still own and play it?
Do you have any endorsements running?
My first guitar was a nice, shiny new
Japanese one-pickup electric called a Rodeo;
it was awful… horrible action and even