Kayton Roberts
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Kayton Roberts

White House, TN

Kayton Roberts, age 83 of Greenbrier TN, left to be with our Lord on July 13, 2017. He is proceeded in death by his wife, Iva Lee; brothers, Oswald, Joe, and Vance; and sister, Francis. He is survived by his children, Louie Roberts (Fran), Jan Roberts-Williams (Les), and Martin Roberts (Tiffanie); along with five grandchildren, Adam, Natalie, Samuel, Jaima, and Jordan; and sister, Alberta Spring.

Kayton was a Hall of Fame steel guitarist for Hank Snow over 30 years and is credited for his mastery and unique playing style among professional artists and the music community. Kayton's contributions include performances and recordings with John Fogerty, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Riders in the Sky, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Aaron Tippin, Randy Travis, Hank Williams III and a host of others. Kayton was a true one of a kind and master of his craft and his musical style will live on for generations.

Kayton's Celebration of Life service will be Sunday, July 23, at The Church at Grace Park in White House, TN. Visitation will be 4-5 pm followed by service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to either or both "building funds" for Ebenezer Baptist Church, 6028 Ebenezer Rd, Greenbrier, TN 37073 and The Church at Grace Park, 506 Hester Dr, White House, TN 37188

If you have a special story how Kayton has touched you in some way the family would love to hear them via Kayton's obituary page at www.austinandbell.com

Services have been entrusted to Austin & Bell Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 104 Sanders Ferry Road, Hendersonville TN 37075, 615-822-4442.






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Published in Tennessean on Jul. 16, 2017.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
JUL
23
Visitation
04:00 - 05:00 PM
The Church at Grace Park
JUL
23
Service
05:00 PM
The Church at Grace Park
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Tennessean
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20 entries
August 24, 2017
i never really knew kayton....i just found out i was related to him recently while working on my family history. I was kayton 3rd cousin i think, and i would of loved to meet him. rip kayton
steve culmer
Family
July 27, 2017
Waikiki Steel Guitar Festival (2013)
Aloha from Hawaii.... Kayton was a sweet man and my inspiration to learn and play the Steel Guitar. When I was 18 years old (way back in 1979) Kayton invited me to his home in Green Brier Tennessee. I met his lovely wife Iva Lee and they both shared their home and music with me. I will never forget him inviting me and my former bandmates from Porpoise Island to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. We hung out with him backstage and met most of the Big Name country stars at that time. Fly with the Angels my friend! A Hui Hou!
Nephi (Pomai) Brown
July 21, 2017
Larry McFall (Riodosa Steel)
Kayton a fantastic Steel Player with high energy! From a fellow non-pedal Steel Player. We were brothers in Steelin playing the same type of steel guitar, a Fender Stringmaster D8. Rest In Peace Brother!
Larry McFall
July 20, 2017
Condolences to Kayton's family & friends. My family are huge Hank Snow fans from way back & we knew of the band members, as well. Peace & Love from your fans in Massachusetts!
Janice A. Stets
July 19, 2017
Go Rest High On That Mountain Mr. Kayton Roberts. God was ready for you to be part of His Mighty Angel Band. Praying for Mr. Kayton's family until you meet again.
Kim Villines-Groves
July 18, 2017
What a blessing to Music City and a true original. His musicianship was the kind that lifted us all up when we heard him play. Kayton was always the same each time I was able to be around him and learn some things on the steel. But above everything he did, all he achieved, all the accolades, he never displayed an ego and was always willing to take time for people, a rare trait in today's world. May you find peace and comfort in that rainbow ranch in the sky.
Mike Webb
July 18, 2017
I'm so glad we have the video of the time you and your wife played on the L T Zinn , Hawaiian Show in St Louis. Now you both have left us. Rest now in the peace that only God can give and we'll see you on the other side...Evelyn Whitney and L T.
Evelyn Whitney
July 17, 2017
I met Kayton at the Carolina Opry, where I performed with his son, Louie and grandson, Adam. He was a consummate gentleman, who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. He told me my voice reminded him of the "old classics - like Patsy Cline." To this day, it remains one of the nicest complements I've ever received from someone who truly worked with giants in the industry. In addition, Kayton and I agreed that his son, Louie, had one of the greatest voices we had ever heard. Jimmy and I send our love and prayers to all of Kayton's family and friends. Our loss is Heaven's gain.
Kim Perry Williams
July 17, 2017
The memories that I have of Kayton and his music are wonderful. I loved when he and Iva would play together at church. You just wanted them to keep on playing. His smile will always be with us. My condolences to his family. God blesses us with all the precious memories.
Jo Brown
July 17, 2017
Mr Roberts as I knew him as a teeager at his church was a wonderful man.. I remember Louie and Jan as we all grew up together. As a adult I remember his loving smile and love of life. He and Ms Iva loved to pick blackberries and I've enjoyed many a dessert from the berries they gave my Mom. It's so hard to say goodbye but the memories will last forever.
Mala Bruce
July 16, 2017
To my neighbor (it seems half of my life). Loved you and your wife and your entire family. One of the funniest and sweetest men I ever knew.
Linda Huff
July 16, 2017
Our sincere sympathy to Kayton's family. He was a great person and one of the best musicians. When we visited Nashville, Kayton gave Fred a tour of the city - a kind and loving friend who will never be forgotten. Our prayers to you folks at this difficult time. God bless!
Grace & Fred Speth
July 16, 2017
Mr Roberts was a inspiration to all. My heartfelt condolences to the family. The world lost not only a great musician, but a great person as well.
Carl Henry
July 16, 2017
Fran, Louie,Adam, Natalie and Samuel,
Randy and I wanted to let you know that we are praying for your family during this time. Although it is a sad time, it is also a happy time knowing that your dad and mom are together now. I loved the times when your parents would come to church and your mom would tickle the ivory on the piano while your dad had those magic fingers on the steel guitar. The love that radiated between them was very evident. Hold those memories close to your heart and they will always be with you.
We love you all,
Susan and Randy Furr
Susan & Randy Furr
July 16, 2017
Kayton was a great musician and a greater gentleman. Condolences to his family. He will be missed by all.
Vernon Bates
July 16, 2017
"OLD RED"
I'VE NEVER TRAVELED TO HAWAII,
NEVER SEEN IT'S DEEP BLUE SEAS.
NEVER FELTS IS SOFT BREEZE BLOWIN',
THROUGH IT'S MANY TALL PALM TREES.
I NEVER LOOKED UPON IT'S BEACHES,
OR WALKED ON THEIR WHITE SANDS.
BUT I ALWAYS LOVED THE MUSIC,
THAT CAME FROM THOSE ISLANDS.

THO' I NEVER MADE THE JOURNEY,
THAT I'D HOPED TO MAKE SOMEDAY.
SINCE I NEVER GOT TO GO THERE,
I NEVER HEARD THE NATIVES PLAY.
BUT I FELT THOSE PALM TREES SWAYING,
AS I HEARD KAYTON ROBERTS PLAY, INSTEAD.
AND MAGIC HAPPENED WHEN HIS FINGERS,
TOUCHED THE STRINGS , ON "OLE RED"

WRITTEN IN MEMORY OF ONE OF THE TRUE MASTERS OF HIS ART, AND ONE OF THE NICEST GUYS THAT I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING WHILE MAKING MY WAY THROUGH THIS OLD EARTHLY JOURNEY! I CAN ALMOST HEAR THE HEAVENLY SOUNDS OF HIS STEEL GUITAR DRIFTING THROUGH PARADISE! GOD BLESS HIS MEMORY, AND I SALUTE IT !
JAY JACKSON
July 16, 2017
Kayton's smile said it all. I feel very honored to have known Kayton as a friend since first meeting him when Hank and the Rainbow Ranch Boys played in Bangor, ME in the early 1980s, when I was president of Hank's International Fan Club. Little did I know that being Hank's fan Club president would be the prelude to the wonderful friendships I have with Kayton and Roger.

Kayton always knew his friends the second he saw them, even coming out of a crowd. He was blessed with one of the best memories God had ever handed out. He was so kind and caring.

I remember the time he was working on the pronunciation of "Au Revoir" ("Goodbye" in French), and he and my wife Terry had the most amusing lesson in French over the telephone. We always chuckled about that fun conversation. After that, every time we were in his presence and he used "Au Revoir", he would give us a "nailed it!" look and smiled that priceless smile.

Kayton is right at the top of the "nice people and good friend" list in my life. Terry and I are so blessed to have known Kayton and to have called him a good friend. He was a wonderful man.

We know Kayton's family takes much comfort in knowing that he was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His passing has left a big hole in music, and in all our hearts. He will be missed by us all.

We all know that Kayton and Iva Lee already have their band over in the Glory Land.

Au Revoir Kayton, dear friend.

Gordon and Terry Silver
Friends from Nova Scotia, Canada
Gordon Silver
July 16, 2017
Anita White
July 16, 2017
In remembrance of a wonderful musician. I didn't know him personally but he seemed like one of the good guys. R.I.P. and sadly missed.
Dave Kirkpatrick
July 16, 2017
One of the dearest friends and finest people I ever have known, I have known Kayton for 34 years, although I have been closest friends with him the last 20. He had an infectious personality, affecting everyone positively. He instilled in me the self confidence I never had, encouraging me to keep writing and to keep playing and singing, even if I never persued a professional career. We had made plans to play and sing in each others' church but that never came to pass. He practiced constantly (which is what it takes to be successful and hold onto your edge) and loved his music. In fact, his very life blood flowed through the strings of Ole Red as he expressed himself through every song.

Laughter remained a hallmark if you ever met him. His humor was as much a part of him as anything else. Even at a time of great sadness, Kayton made everything better by being more light-hearted and bringing laughter to help ease the pain. I believe this is a time when Kayton would be telling his greatest jokes.

As the steel player for Hank Snow, there was a lot behind the scenes that Kayton was responsible for that many folks never realized. He not only was responsible for driving the bus, but in Hank's later years, he was responsible for bringing Hank from his home to the Opry and back. His playing was as much an integral part of the Hank Snow sound as Bill Monroe's mandolin was to his, Oswald's dobro was to Roy Acuff's, and Chet Atkins was to his. It was unique and stood out from everyone else's playing.

I will greatly miss him but the memories of him bring so much joy and that is the cause for the tears. There will never be another Kayton Roberts passing this way again, but I know I will catch up to him in that Heavenly home when my time comes.

May God bless the entire Roberts family.
Richard White
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