Highlights & Accolades
4 Grammy Awards
OVer 50 Charted Billboard Singles
Grand Ole Opry Member
Kentucky Music Hall of Fame
14 Number 1 Songs
Hits Cut By Other Artists
“Long Neck Bottle” with Garth Brooks
“Where the Blacktop Ends” by Keith Urban
“Nothing but the Taillights” by Clint Black
“One Small Miracle” by Bryan White
performed The Who’s the Boss theme song
Singer/songwriter/storyteller and multi-instrumentalist, Steve Wariner, is a troubadour in the music industry and continues to inspire artists today. More than 20 albums and five decades into his career, Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon, earning 14 No. 1 hits, over 30 Top 10 singles, three RIAA-certified Gold albums, the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award, four GRAMMY Awards, four CMA Awards, three ACM Awards, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a TNN/Music City News Award, a CMA Triple Play Award and 15 BMI Million-Air Awards. In October 2019, he’ll be inducted into the prestigious Musicians Hall of Fame, and throughout his illustrious career, has been inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and is one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the CGP (Certified Guitar Player) award by Chet Atkins.
As an award-winning songwriter, he has composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as songs for Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, Bill Anderson and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; Bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rockabilly/Country hitmaker Bob Luman and many more.
Today, he continues to captivate audiences with his sensational voice and guitar prowess and is recognized through his portfolio of work spanning Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Jazz and Pop.
Born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1954, the Noblesville, Indiana native got his start in music at the tender age of 10 playing bass guitar. A few years later, he played drums in his father’s band.
One night while performing in an Indianapolis club, Country Music Hall of Fame member, Dottie West, happened to be there and spotted the talented teenager. West convinced the 17-year-old to make the bold move from Indiana to Music City to join her band. Upon accepting the offer, Wariner played bass for three years with her and eventually signed to Dottie’s publishing company as a songwriter. After he left Dottie’s organization, Wariner toured and recorded with Grand Ole Opry star Bob Luman’s band.
In the 70’s, Wariner’s life and career forever changed when he connected with his idol and guitar extraordinaire Chet Atkins through guitar virtuoso Paul Yandell. Atkins signed him to his first recording contract at RCA Records in 1977 and eventually hired Wariner to play bass in his band. His first single, “I’m Already Taken,” peaked at No. 63 on the Country charts and was later re-recorded by Country icon Conway Twitty. More than 20 years later, Wariner recorded “I’m Already Taken” again in 1999 and took it all the way to the Top 5 on Billboard. Wariner’s first Top 40 hit was “Your Memory,” which was released in 1980 and peaked at No. 7, which paved the way for two more Top 10 hits, including “By Now” and his first No. 1 “All Roads Lead to You,” which was released in 1981.
While on the rise, Wariner left RCA in 1984 and signed with MCA Records, the label that would catapult him to achieve some of his biggest hits spanning into the 90s, including “What I Didn’t Do,” “Heart Trouble,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “The Weekend,” and “Life’s Highway.”
His star began to shine brighter as his music made its way into television. In 1986, he recorded the theme song for ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning TV sitcom, “Who’s The Boss?”
Wariner moved over to Arista Records in 1991 where he released his album I Am Ready. Shortly after, he earned his first GRAMMY Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration as a vocalist on the single “Restless,” along with Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Mark O’Connor, on O’Connor’s album. They were known as The New Nashville Cats.
Although he played the Opry since 1973 when he debuted as bass guitarist with Dottie West, a lifelong dream came true on May 11, 1996, when Wariner joined the Grand Ole Opry as a member. He sang "A Woman Loves," a duet with Bill Anderson on "Tips Of My Fingers" and Chet Atkins joined Wariner on "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?"
In 1998, Capitol Records signed and released Wariner's "Holes In The Floor Of Heaven." That same year, Wariner swept the Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music awards by winning 3 ACMs and 3 CMAs for “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” which won Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Wariner also produced “Holes in the Floor of Heaven.” The emotional hit smash was also nominated for a GRAMMY.
During that time, he won the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Instrumental as a musician on the Asleep at the Wheel song, “Bob’s Breakdown,” an award he would win again in 2008 for his collaboration with Brad Paisley for the single, “Cluster Pluck,” and in 2009 for “Producer’s Medley,” a track on Wariner’s album My Tribute to Chet Atkins.
In 2011, he released Guitar Laboratory, a collection of instrumental songs spanning many genres, including Bluegrass, Classical, Country, Jazz, Blues and traditional Hawaiian music. The release of It Ain’t All Bad followed in 2013 and All Over the Map in 2016.
Metal icon Dave Mustaine, of Megadeth, invited Wariner to play steel guitar on the band’s Dystopia album in 2015. It’s clear Wariner has a true passion for his profession, and evident through his extensive collection of guitars, including the first one he ever learned to play, the first one he bought, several gifted to him by Chet Atkins, his own Takamine models, including 3 editions, and in 2019, Gretsch released the Steve Wariner Signature Nashville Gentleman.
Over the course of his career, Wariner’s passion for writing, playing and singing music remains undiminished. He has served as an extraordinary role model and inspiration to artists in many genres and has become an excellent example of one our industry’s most talented and professional artists, songwriters and musicians, and has proven to be a triple threat; an award-winning artist, musician, and songwriter.
1987 Joe Glaser custom Telecaster style w/ B bender
2009 Jeff Senn Pomona Telecaster style guitar
1959 Gretsch (Reissue) Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
1954 Fender Telecaster
2015 Gibson Hummingbird acoustic
1997 Kirksand Custom Made Classic Electric
2014 Martin 000021 acoustic
1976 Fender Stratocaster
Various Takamine SW341 models
Xact Tone Solutions (XTS) pedalboard with:
XTS Pegasus boost
TC Electronic stereo chorus
MXR carbon copy delay (X2)
XTS Percission Multi Drive
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb amplifier
Celestion greenback speaker
All cables and capos are Planet Waves
Thumb picks are the small size by Jim Dunlop
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