Paul Franklin (musician)

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Paul Franklin
Paul Franklin.jpg
Background information
Born (1954-05-31) May 31, 1954 (age 65)
OriginDetroit, Michigan, United States
GenresCountry, rock
InstrumentsPedal steel guitar
Lap steel guitar
Baritone steel guitar
The Box
Years active197x-present
Associated actsVince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, Barbara Mandrell, Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis, Kid Rock, Toby Keith

Paul V. Franklin (born May 31, 1954[1] in Detroit, Michigan[2]) is an American multi-instrumentalist, known mainly for his work as a steel guitarist. He began his career in the 1970s as a member of Barbara Mandrell's road band; in addition he toured with Vince Gill, Mel Tillis, Jerry Reed and Dire Straits, he has since become a prolific session musician in Nashville, Tennessee, playing on more than 500 albums.[3][4] He has been named by the Academy of Country Music as Best Steel Guitarist on several occasions.[3] In addition to the pedal steel guitar and lap steel guitar, Franklin plays Dobro, fiddle, and drums,[3] as well as three custom-built instruments called the Pedabro, The Box, and the baritone steel guitar.

Musical innovations[edit]

He is noted for bringing multiple musical innovations to the country music scene.[4] One of these, the Pedabro, is a type of Dobro fitted with pedals and played like a pedal steel guitar; this was invented by Franklin's father. The first of many hit records featuring the Pedabro was Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis.[5]

Franklin has also created two new variations of steel guitars, the first of which is a type of lap steel guitar nicknamed "The Box", whose sound has been described as a "swampy acoustic guitar";[4] the other type of guitar that he invented is the baritone steel guitar, the strings of which are tuned an octave lower than a traditional pedal steel guitar.[4]


Franklin has worked with many well known acts during his career, including Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, Barbara Mandrell, Rodney Crowell, Notting Hillbillies, Sting, Peter Frampton, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Barbra Streisand, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Megadeth.[5]

Franklin is a member of The Time Jumpers, a country and western swing band. In July 2013, he and Vince Gill released a collaborative album called Bakersfield.[6]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
US Country US
Bakersfield (with Vince Gill) 4 25


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ "The Inductees". Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  3. ^ a b c Dillon, Charlotte. "Paul Franklin biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  4. ^ a b c d Fabian, Shelly (2005). "Paul Franklin - 2005 CMA Nominee profile". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  5. ^ a b "Paul Franklin biography". Paul Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  6. ^ "Vince Gill Reveals Cover Art, Track Listing + Release Date for New Album With Paul Franklin". 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-08-06.

External links[edit]