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Greg Walker


“There are guitar players and there are guitar nuts. Greg is both.” So said the legendary guitar player, Jimmy Raney when describing his friend Greg Walker. It’s difficult to imagine Greg without a guitar in his hands, the two inextricably linked to form one being.

His first guitar was given to him by his Grandmother. It had been in the family for a while and wasn’t of the highest quality. However, when his ne’r-do-well uncle popped in for an extended stay with the family, he began playing it and sang some tunes. He showed Greg a few things on the guitar and the two began a strong friendship. Later, Greg’s Dad helped out by furthering some of these casual lessons. He even built Greg’s first amplifier. This was quite a musical family with Mom on the marimba.

However, this was not Greg’s first instrument. He actually began his musical lessons on the accordion, though he’s not fond of letting people know that little secret. His older sister was a master on the instrument, so it seemed natural that Greg would follow suit. Without much practice discipline, Greg soon dropped the accordion and picked up the harmonica, which he played by ear. It was easier… and lighter to carry around!

Eventually, Greg landed on the guitar as his main instrument and after practicing till he thought he was pretty good, he was called to play in a high school big band. After one look at the charts and he decided it was time to go back to practicing.

Greg finally purchased his first serious guitar with money earned as a paperboy and he still plays it today, on occasion. His favorite guitar, though, is a 1945 Epiphone Triumph that he picked up for $25 when he was teaching at a music store in Indianapolis. Obviously, it needed some work, but it had such character and – oh that sound! “I loved it so much that I purchased another one, though nothing sounds as good as my old Epi.”

As a teenager, Greg performed with a number of well known rock and roll bands in the Louisville, each with a unique name – Froggie and the Gremlins, Natural Gas, Cosmo and the Counts, Brutus and the Traitors, the Nightcrawlers. But when it came to naming his own group, creativity went out of the door and he ended up with Walker & Kays

“I never wanted to be a true artist. The life was way too hard. My endeavor was to use the talent and ability I had to actually make a living. So I opened a company – Audi Productions where I produced jingles and did OK. I had some major clients that included Long John Silvers and GE, along with lots of regional accounts. I was happy. Then I fell in love with playing jazz.”