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Date this web site was last edited:  04/09/2014

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to Al Myers (1920 - 2003)

Inducted into OFGC Hall of Fame December,2004 

Al Myers knew the moment he picked up his first guitar as a child and got a wild response from his family when he would play and sing something for them, that being an entertainer was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.... and, he did.  He developed his guitar playing skills, singing, and showmanship - and, became one of the most sought after entertainers in the Columbus area for over 50 years.  Early on he was invited to join the ranks of the "big bands" in the "big cities" but quickly assessed the music business and was quoted many times saying that "he'd rather be a big fish in a little pond than a little fish in a big pond."

So, Columbus is where he met his wife (of 63 years), Bea - and, successfully raised a family of three girls by being an entertainer locally.  Most folks don't know but Columbus has a deep pool of musical talent and Al has pretty much played with and hired most everybody in town at one time or another.  And, everyone of them has a heavy heart with the loss of Al.    

I met Al during the last few years of his life, but he was the kind of person that when you meet you know there is somebody special you are saying hello to.  And, within a couple of conversations you feel like you have known them your entire life.  He was a very soft spoken person with a tremendously funny dry sense of humor.  Music, family and humor were Al's life.  And, he made sure he had plenty of each every day.  I was very fortunate to have been invited to join him in enjoying all three of those at the same time - several times.  Al took a likin' to me right away when we met - and, I was always sure it wasn't because of my guitar playing abilities - must have been my humor.

Connie Sarina (local bass man) loves to tell the story of when he was driving Al to a gig that Al had called Conrad in on.  They got driving down the road and Connie thanked Al for the gig.  He said, "I do appreciate the call, Al.  Must be you liked my bass playing?"  

Eighty year old Al dryly responded,  "Not really - I needed a ride." 

Oh, we are going to miss that humor.  And, the twinkle in his eyes when he sang, "Old Friends."   Rest in peace our "old friend."

Palmer Moore - Organizer OFGC

Al Myers - National Celebrity

This is an excerpt taken from and article entitled The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking in Guitar Player magazine written by Rich Kienzle:  (right after discussing the major contributions by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis...(they misspelled his last name..)

"Much more obscure but no less talented was Al Meyers, who worked in California as a sideman with the Hollywood-based western vocal trio called the Georgia Crackers (Bob, Slim, and Hank Newman). When Bob Newman began doing solo recordings for the King label in the early '50s, Meyers was often prominently featured. He also did some Travis-styled instrumentals for King, backed by Jerry Byrd on steel guitar, which were later issued on a budget anthology album. Whether Meyers played in a purely Travis based style or used a flatpick to approximate the sound is difficult to tell." 

Read the whole article at http://personal.riverusers.com/~debed/teocfp.htm 

Al Myers in Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame

http://seniormusicians.homestead.com/2001.html

Al's Obituary from Columbus Dispatch - November 17, 2003

MYERS Allan E. "Al" Myers, age 83, of Ashville, died Wednesday, November 26, 2003. He was a member of Christ Christian Fellowship Church, the Columbus Federation of Musicians and was a WW II United States Air Force Veteran. He played with the Buckeye Four on WHKC, the WW II Skyliners Band, the Georgia Crackers at J Bar C Ranch, appeared on the Sally Flowers and Flippo shows, best known as Al "Mr. Banjo" Myers. Al is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Bea Bachman Myers; daughters, Karen (Darrell) Sanner of Lancaster, Linda (Keith) Moore of Ashville, Kathy (Jim) Mekoleske of Orient; 11 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; niece, nephew, friends, musicians and former guitar students. Friends may visit 5-8 p.m. Friday at the DWAYNE R. SPENCE FUNERAL HOME, 650 West Waterloo St., Canal Winchester. Funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Mt. Carmel Hospice or Christ Christian Fellowship Church. Al touched the lives of many people with his heart and his music. "DAD - you will be sorely missed"

Some More Pictures of Al Myers

This is my favorite picture of Al in that it shows just how far up the entertainment "chain" he and the Georgia Crackers got. 

Al is on the bottom left with the Newman brothers of the Georgia Crackers.  And, on the top right is Roy Rogers.  The far left on the top is Roy's sidekick, Pat Brady (Nellie Belle was parked outside (lol).  The rest of the top row is The Sons of the Pioneers... 

This picture was shot the year or two before he passed away.  To his left is Billy Tustin, life long friend and one of the best old style Chet pickers around.  Billy played for Martha Carson many years ago.  Over Al is Rich Vargo, another life long freind and heck of a guitar player - now, living in Florida.  And, to his right is our good buddy, JD Norman...
In his later years Al loved to just get together and play and sing.  Here we are at Conrad Sarina's house with JD Norman (left), Palmer Moore (phunny looking red sweater), Al (middle), Conrad and Ted Christy. 
Al on the left sitting with thumb pick manufacturer, Fred Kelley, at one of our OFGC Pickin' Parties...