Harald " Hal" Rugg
Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
8090 North Northern Avenue
Oro Valley, AZ
Harald " Hal" Rugg Legendary steel guitarist Harald "Hal" Rugg passed away in Tucson, AZ with loved ones at his side Tuesday morning, August 9, 2005, after an extended battle with lung cancer. He was born July 21, 1936 in New York City, New York. At an early age he moved to Tucson with his mother where he attended the Arizona Desert School. He began his music career in Tucson, AZ in the early 50's. He married his devoted wife, Vivian Deans in 1957. In 1959 he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked the Flame Club with Dave Dudley. He met Grand Ole Opry acts like Bobby Lord and Billy Grammer, who encouraged him to move to Nashville in 1961. He worked the road with many Opry acts such as Jean Shepard, Stonewall Jackson, Bill Carlisle and Leroy Van Dyke. Hal joined the George Jones Band in 1963, and did his first recording session. Soon after his first session he was too busy with recording to work the road. In 1963 he joined the staff band at the Grand Ole Opry where he performed until 1979. He also worked television with the Wilburn Brothers where he met producer Owen Bradley. As a result he recorded with the Wilburn Brothers and Loretta Lynn. A partial list of shows he played on are: Good Ole Nashville Music, Country Junction with Eddie Hill, The Jimmy Dean Show, Music Hall America and for seven years in the 1990's, The Statler Brothers Show. He was also the steel guitarist for several annual awards shows as a result of his relationship with Bill Walker who produced The Statler Brothers Show and several Capitol Records artists such as Donna Fargo and Roy Clark. Hal was inducted into The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1989. Hal played on many million seller records for artists such as: Billy Walker, Jean Shepard, Ray Pillow, Nat Stuckey, Porter Wagoner, Sammi Smith, Ray Stevens, Ronnie Milsap, Ray Price, Barbara Mandrell, K.D. Lang. Eddie Rabbit, Johnny Russell, Joan Baez, Ricky Van Shelton, Sammy Kershaw and Steve Wariner. Hal's contributions to the music of these artists and his innovative playing style have firmly placed him at the top of recorded history for his instrument with only a select few. His influence is immeasurable among his playing peers. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Vicky. He is survived by four children, Theresa Louise Pierce, Thomas Joseph Rugg, Tammy Lee Klinefelter (husband Jack Klinefelter) and Tracy Lynn Rugg; six grandchildren and one great grandchild. Hal's later years were spent with his partner and companion Joan Van Dyke and his daughter Tammy and her family in the Catalina Foothills Mountains that he loved. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel, 8090 N. Northern Avenue.
Published by Arizona Daily Star on Aug. 14, 2005.
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9 Entries
I miss you old friend, You and Hughey really had a sound that caught my ears, So pure and likeable, I hope your playing a Zum d-10 in heavens band.
God Bless you both.

Len Tucker
April 27, 2012
I knew instantly that I had witnessed a great talent and wonderful man when Mr. Hal Rugg took the stage at the Okla. Steel guitar convention in Tulsa. He's playing that steel for angels right now!!!!
gene ritch
March 10, 2006
As a child Hal Rugg was the first steel player that I was aware of.I was in awe of him. I never learned the steel but I do have one in my band. May the steel and Hal Rugg live on.
Chip Nall
Forever Country Band
Howard "Chip" NAll
February 20, 2006
I will always remember one of my trips to the Opry in 1978. Being a steel player myself, I was more interested in the "pickers" than the "performers" on the show. I'll never forget that between shows, I went to the stage to take pictures. Hal was getting ready to back up the next performer. I called out to him "hey Hal" and when he looked up at me I snapped his picture. Boy did he get a kick out of that! He turned to another musician on the stage and had a good laugh. I guess he thought it was something for someone to want his picture instead of one of the Opry stars. Hal was an awesome steel player and my "Steel Summit With the Masters" videos on which Hal is a guest is even more valuable to me now.
Steve DuBose
August 29, 2005
I send my deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to the family of the greatest steel guitar player that ever graced the face of this good Earth. I'll keep you in my prayers always.


Robert Ewing
August 26, 2005
To the family of Hal. You are in our thoughts during this time of grieving. We will miss Hal. We enjoyed listening to him at The Maverick with Vince. Heaven has added another band member to the Angels Country Music Hall Of Fame.
August 24, 2005
God has taken you home Hal,no more suffering,for you my good friend,rest easy Hal.
Dale McIntyre
August 24, 2005
Hal, you are one of our dearest friends and have a special place in our hearts. You not only were a great musician, but an even greater friend. We shall miss you coming to the dance and standing by Ron and his steel for almost 4 hours every time you came back to Nashville. We cherish these times along with the many hours at the Grand Ole Opry, on Percy Priest Lake fishing and at all our get togethers. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. May you rest in peace forever. We love you and always will.
Leslie and Ron Elliott
August 24, 2005
August 19, 2005
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