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Hank 'Sugarfoot' Garland

Hank Garland was born in Cowpens, South Carolina on November 11, 1930. He began taking guitar lessons when he was six years old from a neighbor. At fifteen years of age he joined Paul Howard's Georgia Cotton Pickers and with them, played for the first time at the Opry, in Nashville. While in Nashville he met Chet Atkins, Billy Byrd and Owen Bradley and was introduced to jazz. Billy Byrd and Hank Garland became very close friends and together they designed the Gibson Byrdland guitar, which was named after them.

Garland stayed with Paul Howard for two years and then joined Cowboy Copas for a year. He appeared on several recordings by Copas and was quickly advancing his skills as a guitarist. After a year he left Copas and went out on his own as a freelance studio musician. As a session guitarist he made a number of recordings on the Decca and Dot labels. A notable recording from this period was Sugarfoot Rag, something Garland had written as an exercise.

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