Time Magazine : Man of the Year !

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Time Magazine : Man of the Year !

Postby Tom » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:59 am

Hello to all, greetings and salutations and ....

Here it is, the results are in: Time Magazines Man of the Year cover for 2016:


Yes ! It's John David Call , the man who has been referred to as The Pontiff of Pedal Steeel, The Call of The Wild, and for the most part simply The Greatest .

A founding member of Pure Prairie League and a pioneer of the instrument , John is considered one of the most influential and dynamic performers ever to play that complex instrument.

John is far more than just an original member of the band. It's fair to say that John as much as anyone who performed under the enormous legacy of the PPL banner is responsible for it's success.His pedal steel and general musical knowledge and direction shaped the sound of PPL for decades to come. What John and the guys started in the late 60's is why we are here today, over 40 years later, still listening to them, still heading out to a show, still asking for more. Every major magazine and newspapers from all over the country hailed John's up front, mesmerizing pedal steel licks. He was a truly a lightning rod for steelers ,someone who avoided the cliches that the steelers in the country music world tended to favor. In fact, his brash approach at times maybe even annoyed a few, most likely because he was doing something they either couldn't do or hadn't thought about.

John's style was flamboyant , at times explosive and at times the sweetest thing you've ever heard. HIs melodies are instantly recognizable and it's been said his lightning licks and ability to hit high end notes with clarity like no one else are just a few reasons pedal steel players world wide cite him as a reason they play today. Over the years many of the top acts and musicians in the business cited John's work , including Garth Brooks, , Keith Urban , Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Emmy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Buffet, Chuck Mangione, Neil Young, Buddy Cage,Buddy Emmons, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Lowell George and the rest of Little Feat. The list is endless.

As country rock fans are well aware, John's scorching "twin leads" with PPL guitarists like Craig Fuller, Larry Goshorn , Donnie Lee Clark and others more than defined PPL's sound : it was a major factor in taking the country rock genre from the back roads and into the national music mainstream. His creative approach and ability to integrate the unique sounds of the steel with any musical instrument carried PPL's identity from 1969 until present day.

John left the band many years back due to severe back issues which fortunately are resolved. During that time many may not be aware he followed his other passion, engineering, where, if possible, he was even more successful. An extremely bright man, I believe it's five patents that John now has in cancer related research as he proved to be an invaluable asset in that field. How many musicians can you think of that can make a claim like that ? As busy as he was , he always kept his steel nearby, playing locally and spreading his knowledge to those who wished to learn the steel.

When the time was right, several years ago John returned to the stage with PPL after retiring from engineering, and remains there today, perched front and center, much like his steel licks take center stage in PPL tunes. The Grand Ole Opry can proudly claim John as the only steel player to sit in their famed circle in the center of their stage.

Today, roughly 47 years since John upped the ante for pedal steelers in the PPL debut LP, the influence is still just as huge. Steelers all over the country cite his work, still list him as the guy who started them off, still play the licks that John cemented in their memories

Yes, John has had an enormously successful career in whatever he chose to do and his music still gets fans out of their seats, still gets people talking about the good old days but also looking for more in the present. And he delivers it. His concerts today still mesmerize us, still make us forget how many years have gone by since his steel defined that first PPL LP. Up front and center , yesterday and today. A great man, a great musician, a man worthy of the word legend. He's far too humble to acknowledge what he's done, he doesn't try to sell his accomplishments or seek our adulation. But we know his legacy and that's what counts.

John David Call : Man of the Year

All the best to John David Call, thanks for your enormous gift to music !

All the best,

Tom Sheridan
Floral Park, NY

Here's a reprint of something I posted several years back when John returned to the stage. It's well worth checking out again.







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