Pete’s Career Timeline

1932 – Pete is born Roddis Franklin Drake in Augusta, Georgia

1950 – After discovering the steel guitar on a trip to Nashville, Pete returned to Atlanta and built his own

1953 – Pete becomes one of Atlanta’s first pedal steel guitarists

1954 – Pete starts playing with his own band ‘The Sons of The South.’ Band members included future country music superstars Jerry Reed, Doug Kershaw, Roger Miller , Joe South, Jack Greene and sometimes Dick Van Dyke.

1959 – Pete moves to Nashville to try and become a session musician. He also tours with Audrey Williams, Wilma Lee, Stoney Cooper, and Marty Robbins.

1960 – Pete plays on several country hits, kicking his career as a session steel guitar player into high gear.

1962 – Pete partners with Tommy Hill, Jerry Shook, Ralph Davis and Jack Drake, and for a short time, Ralph Emery, to form Window Music Publishing and Tomake Music.

1963 – Shelby Singleton and Jerry Kennedy sign Pete to a recording contract with Smash Records, a division of Mercury Records. His first release was FOREVER with his ‘Talking Steel Guitar’ that hit the top of the country charts as well as in the top Pop Charts of Billboard and Cash Box. He recorded two more albums with Smash Records

1964 – Pete is voted “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Cash Box Magazine and “Fastest Climbing Instrumentalists’ by Record World and “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the Country Music Association.

– Pete’s involvement with Elvis Presley began, playing on the ‘ How Great Thou Art ‘ album and appearances on the soundtracks of several of Presley’s films.

1968 – Pete records ‘ Any Day Now ‘ with Joan Baez

1969 – 1970 –  Pete records ‘ Nashville Skyline ,’ ‘ John Wesley Harding‘ and ‘ Self Portrait‘ with Bob Dylan

1970 – Pete travels to London to record ‘ All Things Must Pass‘ with former Beatle George Harrison. And introduces Peter Frampton the Talk Box.

1970 – Pete produces ‘ Beaucoups of Blues‘ for Ringo Starr.

– Pete is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Walkway of Stars.”

1977 – Pete Drake and Rose Trimble launch First Generation Records and sign Ernest Tubb.

1981 – Pete guides BJ Thomas‘ country and gospel career to the top with number one records, winning a Dove Award and Grammy Award with the “Amazing Grace” album.

– Pete travels to Johannesburg, South Africa with his chosen group of Nashville musicians to produce the Top 10 South African Country Artist.  The album was back ordered “Gold” before it was completed.

1987 – Pete is awarded the Nashville Entertainment Association’s “Master Award” and inducted into the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

1990 –  Pete is inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.

2007 – Pete is inducted into The Musicians Hall of Fame, as a member of the Nashville Studio “A” Team

2010 – Pete Drake is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame