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RealTracks Artist Bio: Paul Franklin

When teenage pedal steel prodigy Paul Franklin moved from Detroit to Nashville, his career took off immediately. His first job was touring with rising star Barbara Mandrell. Paul then stayed on the road for several more years with stars like Mel Tillis, Jerry Reed, and Dottie West before deciding to stay in Nashville and focus on session work. There have been a lot of sessions since.

Franklin has played on more than five hundred record releases. They include recordings with such legendary Country artists as Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Leann Womack, Randy Travis, Shania Twain, Brooks & Dunn, Wynonna Judd, Clint Black and many more. Along the way, he became a legend himself, and was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

A versatile and innovative musician, Paul has crossed musical genres to record with Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, Sting, Elton John, Megadeth, and Barbra Streisand. He has also brought new sounds to Country Music with the pedabro, which was built and patented by his father; the baritone steel, which plays an octave lower than a regular steel; and an acoustic lap steel nicknamed "The Box."

Paul Franklin is a perennial nominee for both Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards. He has won multiple awards from each institution, as both Steel Guitar Player of the Year and Musician of the Year, and is the reigning ACM Top Steel Guitar Player of the Year.

Nashville live music fans are treated to Paul's unmatched musicianship in regular local performances with The Players (including A-list musicians Brent Mason on guitar, John Hobbs on keyboards, Michael Rhodes on bass, and Eddie Bayers on drums plus guest artists like Vince Gill and Travis Tritt), and also in a group of top session players called the Time Jumpers.

Paul Franklin's web site is at and there are plenty of videos of his playing on YouTube, including live performances with The Players, The Time Jumpers, and a legendary solo with Mark Knopfler in "Walk of Life." See Paul's complete list of credits at

Paul Franklin plays these RealTracks:

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