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Gary Talley

Gary Talley - Box Tops  

Born August 17, 1947, Memphis Tennessee. Gary's mother was a church pianist and his father plays guitar.   Gary Talley plays guitar in a multitude of styles, ranging from a raw blues style to a country steel guitar sound. He played with the Memphis band the "In Crowd," before joining the group that would eventually become the Box Tops. He remained a member of the Box Tops for the groups' entire life. (Besides Gary, only Alex Chilton can make that claim!)    

After leaving the Box Tops in 1970, Gary was chosen as staff guitar player for "Sounds of Memphis Studio" where he worked with artist such as Hank Ballard, rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley, and David Allen Coe. While in Memphis Gary later worked with Ace Cannon at Willie Michell's "Hi Studio" and with Jerry Butler, Marcia Moore, and the Three Degrees at Universal Recording Studio.

In 1971, he moved to Atlanta GA
to work on publishing demos with Bill Lowery Publishing and to record jingles at "Doppler Studios." During this period, Gary play and sang on national TV and radio commercials for Dodge vans, Delta Airlines, McDonald's, Chapstick, Winn-Dixie, Long John Silver's, and others. He also played on a national TV jingle for Coca Cola, which featured Billy Joe Royal.

During the 1970s, Gary played concert dates with artists such as Freda Payne, Tennessee Ernie Ford, John Phillips (of the Mama & Papas), Billy Joe Royal, Pat Boone, and Jimmy Rogers.

In 1981, Gary was invited to Nashville by legendary producer Chips Moman and recorded with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Webb Pierce, Billy Joe Royal, and others. Since 1981, he has worked with a diverse roster of artist, including Dobie Gray, Tracy Nelson, Pam Tillis, Dr. John, Brenda Lee, Tim McGraw, Bill Miller, Bobby Bare, Mac Gayden, Johnny Lee, Stella Parton, Shelly West, Clifford Curry, Earl Gaines, Fish Heads & Rice, Billy C. Farlow, Porter Wagoner, Karen Staley, Dean Dillon, Guy Clark, Paul Craft, Sheb Wooley, Ferlin Husky, and David Lee Murphy.

In 1992, Gary was band leader and guitarist for Canadian country star George Fox. As such he played on the "Mustang Heart" album and toured Spain and Switzerland.

Today, Gary plays guitar for Sam Moore ("Sam" of Sam & Dave). Of course he also plays his original role as lead guitarist for the Box Tops! He is also a well-known guitar teacher in Nashville, specializing in teaching songwriters and recording artists.

In addition to his guitar work, Gary has developed a significant song writing career. His songs have been recorded by the Box Tops, James Cotton, and Keith Whitley, T.G. Shepard, Danny Davis, FishHeads & Rice, Don Nix, and several European artists. The Nashville Publisher's Network chose a song that Gary co-wrote as the first song for their compilation CD.

Since 1996, Gary joined his fellow original Box Tops in the recording studio and began touring with the group. He plays lead guitar and electric sitar on stage and in recordings. Gary's experience as music director in other groups led to a similar role with the Box Tops today. Also, his well-developed songwriting skills are reflected in "Last Laugh", a song on the new 'Tear Off' album.



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