Country music instrumentalist Buck Trent has died. The banjo player passed on Monday, Oct. 9, in Branson, Mo., at the age of 85.
Details surrounding his death have yet to be revealed.
Before lending his musical talent to countless songs, Trent was a prominent member of several national television programs, like Hee Haw, The Porter Wagoner Show and The Marty Stuart Show.
The gifted musician was known for being an expert on his instrument — he would go on to invent the electric banjo.
Trent was born Charles Wilburn Trent on Feb. 17, 1938, in Spartanburg, S.C. He took a liking to music at a young age, learning to play the lap steel guitar (also known as the Hawaiian guitar) when he was just seven years old. At age 10, he was playing on the radio and landed his first television gig at age 17.
In 1959, as a member of Bill Carlisle’s band, he made the move to Nashville. His role in Porter Wagoner’s band the Wagonmasters made him a regular on Wagoner’s TV program, as well as a frequent contributor to the singer’s duets with Dolly Parton.
After more than a decade with the Wagonmasters, Trent worked with Roy Clark for several years. When Clark joined the cast of Hee Haw, so did Trent, and during his time on the show, he developed his popular catchphrase, “Oh yeah!”
By the 1990s, Trent was a headliner in Branson, Mo., and was featured on Marty Stuart’s show for many years in the 2000s.
Buck Trent is mostly recognized for his work on a five-string banjo, but he could also play the Dobor, mandolin, guitar and electric bass. Over the years, his musical skills were featured on albums by Nancy Sinatra, Roy Clark, Norma Jean, Mac Wiseman and many others. He also crafted his own projects and released 15 solo albums throughout his career.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time.
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