Don Helms, Steel Guitarist for Hank Williams, Dies

Don Helms, the steel guitarist in Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys band, died Monday morning (Aug. 11) in Nashville. He was 81. Helms recorded more than 100 songs with Williams, including “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Cold, Cold Heart.” He also appears on the recordings of Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil,” Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” and Stonewall Jackson’s “Waterloo,” as well as some early Johnny Cash albums. His songwriting credits include Brenda Lee’s 1961 pop hit, “Fool No. 1,” and Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Ballad of Hank Williams.” Helms continued to perform following Williams’ death, including a stint in the ’60s with the Wilburn Brothers as part of their syndicated TV series and touring band. Most recently, Helms played regular monthly gig with the band Brazilbilly at Robert’s Western World, a honky-tonk in downtown Nashville. He is survived by his wife, Hazel.