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A fantastic multi-tracking guitarist in a league with Billy Mure. He started playing guitar with his father's country and western band, Les Merrill and the Rhythm Acess in Utah in the early 1950s. He was largely self-taught on guitar, arranging, and composing. Merrill worked with a variety of bands before he joined Lawrence Welk's orchestra in 1959. Always willing to put business before musical tastes, Welk wanted to get a piece of the new "rock and roll" audience and hired Merrill to play "Rock Around the Clock." Although he remained as a featured player until he left the group in 1977, Merrill was considered something of an outsider among the conservative Welk family of performers.
Merrill was a versatile and proficient guitar player, and performed and recorded on both electric and pedal steel guitars. He released a number of solo recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s, and supplemented his work with Welk by producing musical scores for television commercials. After leaving Welk, Merrill wrote and produced television and radio commercials, and played in a country music band that performed in L.A. for several years.
Check out the new Buddy Merrill website at http://www.buddymerrillmusic.com/. Not only is it full of information about his career, but it's one of the few places in the world where you can buy new copies of many of his albums direct from the artist himself. Give the big labels the heave-ho and put your bucks right into the pockets of one of the era's finest musicians!
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