Willie Eason: 1921 to 2005
Revered steel guitar player Willie Eason died June 16 in a St. Petersburg, Florida, hospital. Eason’s rediscovery by Florida folklorist Bob Stone, and the 1995 album they recorded together, led to the wider recognition of what came to be called sacred steel. Considered one of the founders of that distinctive House of God worship musical style, Eason had a distinguished career, including brief stints with Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Blind Boys of Alabama. He was 82.