Ernest Tubb Guitarist Billy Byrd Dies

A funeral service will be held Thursday (Aug. 8) at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville for guitarist Billy Byrd, who died on Tuesday of natural causes. He was 81. Byrd, best known for his influential work with Ernest Tubb in the 1950s, was also a respected jazz guitarist who taught and inspired such prominent guitar players as Hank Garland and Harold Bradley. Byrd and Garland designed the semi-hollow-body Gibson Byrdland electric guitar. Before joining Tubb’s band in 1949, Byrd played with local pop groups and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Little Jimmy Dickens and George Morgan and played on Dickens’ first recording session. He is survived by his wife Glenna C. Byrd, four daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 08/08/01