Kenneth Montgomery

Apr 26, 1928 - Apr 5, 2012

"Being from Oklahoma, I'm kinda like Will Rogers, I never met a man I didn't like, a woman neither, especially a pretty girl. I've had such a great life."

Kenny Montgomery still had the first guitar he ever owned, hanging on the wall in his music room. He was twelve years old when he got that guitar. He'd already been playing for six years on borrowed guitars.

Kenneth died April 5, 2012. He was 3 weeks shy of his 84th birthday. "Kenny" was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He played music everyday. Even when his shoulder ached and the doctor said he had worn the cartilage to the bone, Kenny would not stop playing lead guitar on his beloved Fender Stratocaster. He said it kept him young. One minute he was juicing the blues on his Strat, the next minute he'd strap on his 12 string and soar with Marty Robbins.

When he was 80, Kenny discovered the iPod and Pandora. His grandson, Eric Hardin, introduced him to the world of electronic wonders. Kenny would welcome family and friends into his music room. With a big smile, he'd proudly proclaim, "Today I'm going to be playing along with some friends of mine." His fingers were almost too big for the iPod controls, but he eventually mastered the new device, and with the delight of a child he'd settle into his favorite chair and listen for the next song. He could play everything, from Chet Atkins to Eric Clapton, from Muddy Waters to Les Paul.

Kenny counted himself one of the lucky ones. His grandson, Christopher, a fellow guitar picker and songwriter, asked him recently, "If you had it to do all over again, how would you do it?" Kenny immediately answered with a smile, "Oh, I'd do it the same. I wouldn't change a thing if I had it to do all over again. I'd do it the same."