Gary Talley (born August 17, 1947) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and author.He began his career as lead guitarist for the Grammy-nominated group The Box Tops who were famous for hits like “The Letter,” and “Cry Like a Baby”.
After his initial stint with The Box Tops, Talley played with musicians Jerry Butler, Billy Lee Riley, Hank Ballard, and Ace Cannon at the Sounds of Memphis Studio and later at Universal Studios also in Memphis. His reputation led him to the larger market of Atlanta in 1972, where he toured with Pat Boone, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dobie Gray, Freda Payne, Billy Joe Royal, and many others.
Talley relocated to Nashville in 1981 where he recorded with Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Sam Moore (of the duo Sam and Dave), and others. He has written songs recorded by Keith Whitley, The Box Tops, James Cotton, T. G. Sheppard, Fish Heads & Rice and others. He has continued writing and teaching, while at the same time playing television appearances, live events or touring with artists like Billy Preston, Sam Moore, Pam Tillis, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Rufus Thomas, Tim McGraw, The Drifters, Sam “the Sham” Samudio, David Lee Murphy, Bobby Whitlock, Tracy Nelson, Mac Gayden, Bobby Bare, Ray Vega, Deirdre Reilly, the Hombres, Jason D. Williams, James Carr, and Little Eva among others.
Publications like Acoustic Guitar and American Songwriter have published cover stories, articles and lessons about his career as a guitar instructor. In 1999, Talley created “Guitar Playing for Songwriters” the first instructional guitar video designed for songwriters. His specialized technique is tailored to accommodate the needs of songwriters. His students have included stars like Pam Tillis, and Sherrié Austin, Amanda Hunt-Taylor, Rory Bourke, Monty Powell, Holly Lamar and Tom Douglas.
In 2012 Talley formed “Gary Talley and The Road Home” a band with three other musicians in Nashville: John Terrence on bass (Billy Joe Royal, Charlie Louvin) Dave Hoffner on keyboards (Michael Martin Murphey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson) and Charlie Morgan on drums (Elton John, Paul McCartney).
Guitar player for Box Tops, Billy Preston, Tammy Wynette, Tim McGraw, Dobie Gray, Dr. John, Brenda Lee, Pat Boone,etc. My songs have been recorded by Keith Whitley, The Box Tops, T.G. Shepard , Danny Davis Kenny Neal, James Cotton,etc. Made instructional video Guitar Playing for Songwriters . Wrote Guitar 101 Column in American Songwriter for 12 years.