Wayne Hobbs, Russ Hicks, Lynn Owsley, and Ron Elliott – Earl Erb in background

Billy Robinson and Ray Alan backed by Earl Erb and Rick VanAugh

Jett Williams - keeping the Hank Williams legacy alive.

Lynn Owsley - Ron Elliot - Audie McQueary

Joey Allcorn – the last singer to work with Don

Auctioning the hats



Full house for the evening show.

The first Don Helms Memorial Golf tournament took place at Lake Tansi in Crossville Tennessee on July 17, 2009. It was followed by a special tribute to John Hughey. Don Helms was a most recognizable sound on the Hank Williams recordings and an early force shaping the music business with his work with Patsy Cline and early Ray Price recordings. The amount of good hearted help he gave to so many people through the years is beyond counting. John Hughey was a dominant force on the Conway Twitty recordings and more recently with Vince Gill. He remains one of the most outstanding stylists on the pedal steel guitar. Both Hazel Helms and Jean Hughey were present and greeting people in the front of the theater. Their late husbands were loved by people in the Nashville music industry as are they also. 

The next day, July 18th, there was a steel guitar show at the Renovated Palace Theatre in Crossville Tennessee. On the show were:

  • Billy Robinson

  • Russ Hicks

  • Lynn Owsley

  • Ron Elliott

  • Audie McQueary

  • Wayne Hobbs

  • and hosted by Ray Alan

A special tribute to Don Helms followed at 7 PM featuring Jet Williams.

There were two separate admission prices for the afternoon and evening shows, thus two audiences. The long distance reach of the WSM advertising was apparent as the afternoon had a good number of people from out of state. When asked how far they came, Virginia, Florida, and Texas were only some of the origins given. The evening show was full on the main floor right up to the balcony. We later learned that the show was completely sold out at that point.

The theater had been completely renovated and was a gem, from the stage lights to the sound board in back, and every part of it neat and clean. This is a great venue. Some others can take a page from Crossville. this is a great spot for any entertainment to take place.

The show was to raise money for the Shriners Children's Hospital, and featured an auction in the middle of the entertainment. Steel Guitar legend Billy Robinson generously donated a print of one of his wonderful paintings to start the auction. The final item on the auction was to be a golf style hat with signatures from everyone on stage. The bidding went up and up (assisted by encouragement from Jett Williams). The final price bid for the hat was $250 to go to the Children's Hospital. Then a gentleman in the front row volunteered to pay another $250 if there was a hat for him. There was not another golf hat, but an audience member asked about the Texas Troubadours hat. Lynn Owsley removed the hat he was wearing (and always wore with Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours), signed it, passed it down the line of steel guitar players to sign, and SOLD to the man in the front row - a total of $500 to the childern in the hospital from the two hats. There were a lot of reasons to feel good about this show.

They now plan to hold it every year.
Y'all come to the next one!

Ric Boyer on bass and Dons old friend, Billy Robinson, on non-pedal steel. Note the reaction to Billys amazing bar slants by top pedal players in the picture below. This is another living legend!