John Hughey, 73, a steel guitar player who toured for years with country legend Conway Twitty and recorded with Elvis Presley and many other stars, died Sunday at a hospital in Hendersonville, Tenn., his publicist said.
The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville reported that he died of heart problems.
Hughey was credited with developing a unique style of playing that focused on the instrument's high tones, resulting in a distinctive "crying sound."
Born in 1935 in Elaine, Ark., he started playing professionally in the early 1950s with a Memphis-based band, Slim Rhodes and Mother's Best Mountaineers.
From 1968 to '88, he played with Twitty, who was a schoolmate of Hughey's, as a member of his backing band, first called the Lonely Blue Boys and then the Twitty Birds.