HANK GARLAND: 1930 – 2004

Elvis collaborator passes on in Florida...

Guitar legend HANK GARLAND has died at the age of 74.

Garland was a virtuoso of rock, country and jazz styles and played with the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline throughout his career.

According to the BBC, he died of a staph infection at Florida’s Orange Park Medical Centre on Monday. His brother Billy Garland payed tribute, saying he was “born with a God-given talent.”

Born Walter Garland in 1930, absorbing country music as a child and joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1945 and signing with Decca as a solo artist four years later.

He scored his first million-selling hit at 19 with ‘Sugar Foot Rag’ and went on to work with Elvis on hits like ‘Little Sister’ and ‘Big Hunk Of Love’. Garland was renowned for his ability to play successfully across a variety of styles.

However, in September 1961 he suffered a car accident which damaged his co-ordination and memory, effectively ending his professional career.