The Greatest Unknown Memphis Guitarist - Ask Zac 117

April 17, 2020

Spotlight on the greatest unknown Memphis guitarist, Clarence Nelson. He was a major influence in both style and tone on Steve Cropper, Reggie Young, and Chips Moman. Clarence was an African-American guitarist who worked with bandleader, Ben Branch, and from there influenced the younger players that saw him live, or watched him in the studio on early Stax, American, and Hi/Royal sessions. Nelson also toured with both James Carr and William Bell in the 60s and 70s. He should be credited as an early adopter of the Telecaster in Memphis, and how he paved the way for others with his funky low string licks, and stuttering bends.

Much thanks to Red Kelly's excellent detective work on Clarence which can be found here.