Matty’s Vision wants to give a “shout out” to a couple of traditional country music personalities that have proven to be supporters not only of Matty’s Vision but also our family and Matthew’s in Tucson.
At a recent steel guitar seminar in Nashville, before the pandemic hit, Ron and Leslie Elliott promoted the Matty’s Vision mission to the attendees and shared a booth that they paid for where Ron’s CD’s and specialty items were being sold with Hal Rugg CD’s and T-shirts. This was a gracious gesture, to sell items in support of the foundation at your personal booth. The reality is that Hal and Ron were great friends and after Hal’s wife Vicky passed away he and Ron stayed in close contact.
The Elliotts are kind of an old school “power couple.” Leslie has been the chief officer and organizer of an organization called ROPE (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) in Madison for years and has a long and respected pedigree of working in the music business. Years ago she became attached to Tammy when Hal would bring her in to the Sho-Bud* steel guitar shop when he was working on innovations and revisions on his guitars. Sho-Bud was in downtown Nashville, Leslie and Ron worked there and pretty much ran the day to day details of the business. As you may remember from past writings, Tammy was the sibling (of the four of Hal’s children) who often shadowed her Daddy. Leslie has known and cared about the Rugg family for decades. I would wager to say she also knows about every steel guitarist of any renown in the industry. And why? Maybe because of her time at Sho-Bud and who her husband Ron Elliott is…
Ron is a member of the Pedal Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. He most notably worked for country music greats StoneWall Jackson, Charlie Louvin, and “The Gentle Giant” Jack Greene. These were, to name a few, prominent country artists whose band Ron played in. He was also no stranger to session work, playing on many hit songs, lending a more moving and expressive tone then most players. As Bobby Seymour said in 2011: “Ron always seemed to master the latest E9th licks and patterns.”Ron had his own sound and that (creating your own unique sound) was quite an accomplishment for a steel guitarist in Nashville which during his “hey-day” was full of very good steel guitarists. Leslie has obviously had a steady exposure to traditional country and once more the two of them are and have been a great part of the fabric of Nashville’s storied yesteryear.
Matty’s Vision is blessed and proud to have the support of these two phenomenal country music people who are an important part of Music City’s history. More than what they’ve done though, who they are is even more impressive. After Tammy’s mother Vicky passed away in 2001 (Tammy was only in her thirties and the loss was huge) Leslie stepped in and adopted her and has been a great emotional and spiritual support system ever since. When Matthew was younger she “hand made” a Christmas game for him. She crafted a game he could velcro trees, gifts and other christmas things that he could identify by shape, to a large felt cut out of a Christmas tree. This is proof positive that Ms. Leslie had thought deeply about, had compassion for, and gave Matthew something festive he could enjoy despite his disability. The other children, Matthew’s siblings, were not left out; they received knitted beanies, scarves, gloves and various other gifts over the years.
A couple years ago when Matthew and Mia were visiting their Nana and Papa in Nashville Ron and Leslie had a chance to spend some time with the kids at a local meat and three**. It was a fun visit capped off with, you guessed it, Leslie having gifts for the kids to take back home to Tucson. She has turned out to be alot like her old friend Vicky Rugg. Always giving.
Matty’s Vision is so grateful to have the support of everyone who has contributed to the cause of providing musical instruments and opportunities to the visually impaired. We wanted to take a moment to make special mention of these two, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks Ron and Leslie!
* From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Sho-Bud is a brand name for a manufacturer of pedal steel guitars. The founders were Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons, both active steel players in the 1950s. The name is currently owned by Gretsch and there are no models in production.
** The Hermitage House Smorgasbord is a fantastic buffet of homemade soul and southern comfort food. Immigrant Margaret Prosser and her family have run it for years and it is a favorite local restaurant.