Musicians Hall Of Fame Member Michael Rhodes Passes
Renowned musician Michael Rhodes passed away at his home in Nashville on March 4. He was 69.
Best known for his mastery of the bass, Rhodes played on iconic recordings and toured with some of rock, blues, jazz and progressive country music’s biggest names. He was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame in 2019.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana on Sept. 16, 1953, Rhodes taught himself to play guitar at age 11. Drawn to the funky rhythms of the bayou state, bass eventually became his instrument of choice.
He moved to Austin, Texas during the rise of the outlaw country movement in the early ’70s. He later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he found work with Charlie Rich’s son Allan. Rhodes soon moved to Nashville and joined a local rock band, the Nerve. He also quickly became a part of the house demo band at Tree Music Publishing, where Bobby Braddock, Harlan Howard and Curly Putnam wrote songs.
Rhodes soon became a first-call musician for the recordings of stars across a myriad of genres. His bass playing can be heard on Shawn Colvin’s Grammy-winning “Sunny Came Home,” Lee Ann Womack’s titanic “I Hope You Dance,” Ashley Cleveland You Are There, Joe Bonamassa’s Live at the Greek and Larry Carlton Take Your Pick.
He recorded frequently with Willie Nelson, Etta James, Mark Knopfler, Alan Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Brian Wilson, Joss Stone, Dolly Parton, The Chicks, J.J. Cale, Wynonna Judd, Merle Haggard, Randall Bramlett, Amy Grant, Hank Williams, Jr, The Highwaymen, John Oates, George Strait and Kenny Chesney, as well as on projects for Bob Seger, Dave Stewart, Keith Whitley, Joan Baez, Lionel Richie, Burt Bacharach, Aaron Neville, Johnny Cash, Lonny Mack, India.Arie, Buddy Guy, Grace Potter, Billy Joe Shaver, Ruthie Collins, Michael McDonald, Dan Penn, Jennifer Holiday, John Fogerty, Elton John and Joan Osborne.
Rhodes played on both LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood’s versions of Dianne Warren’s “How Will I Live,” which competed against each other in 1997 on the charts and at the Grammy Awards.
He was also an in-demand touring musician. He played with Vince Gill on the tour of his Grammy-nominated album These Days. He was part of Steve Winwood’s acclaimed live band, as well as a frequent member of Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell’s road bands during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Rhodes continued to play and perform up until his passing. He was scheduled to play his regular gig with Pat McLaughlin’s band days before his death.
Michael Rhodes is survived by his wife of more three decades, Lindsay Fairbanks Rhodes; a son Jason Rhodes and daughter Melody Wind Rhodes; Lindsay’s sons Van and Weston Hayes; and grandchildren Cayman Rhodes, Cora Rhodes, Wylder Rhodes, Kingsley Rhodes, Jenna Nicole Hillman and Ryley Bruce Hillman.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Music Health Alliance in Rhodes’ name. The family also encourages friends of Rhodes to really listen to a piece of music that matters to you, sharing that Rhodes listened to John Coltrane before he passed.
Memorial arrangements are pending.
- Musicians Hall Of Fame Member Michael Rhodes Passes - March 6, 2023
- LAST DAY: Rising Women On The Row Tickets Close Friday - March 6, 2023
- CMA Crowns Triple Play Award Recipients, Honors Jody Williams - March 3, 2023