Leon Rhodes, Legendary Country Guitarist, Dies at 85

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 and 17 great-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.

Photo Credit: Getty / Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum / Contributor