Legendary country guitarist Leon Rhodes has died at age 85, Taste of Country reports.
Rhodes passed away Saturday morning at his Nashville home and is survived by his eight children, 25 grandchildren
Rhodes was a critical part of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours, playing with the group for seven years. He left to work with the Grand Ole Opry and also served as a session musician, playing for stars like Waylon Jennings, John Denver, Loretta Lynn, George Strait and Reba McEntire.
The musician began studying guitar in his teens, and by age 16 he had landed a job as a musician on a Dallas radio program. A few years later, he was hired by Tubb.
Rhodes also spent over 20 years as part of the staff band on the variety television program Hee Haw. In 2014, he was honored as part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Nashville Cats series.
Country artists including Charlie Daniels and Elizabeth Cook remembered Rhodes on Twitter.
A legendary Nashville guitar picker has passed away— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) December 11, 2017
Leon Rhodes rest in peace.
Your picking will be remembered and respected by those of us who admired you.
Ever hear an Ernest Tubb record where he say “awwww, pick it out Leon”?-that was Leon Rhodes. He’s gone on 2 join that gr8 country band in the sky. #RIP— Elizabeth Cook (@Elizabeth_Cook) December 10, 2017
Photo Credit: Getty / Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum / Contributor