Paul T. Yandell, 76, of Hendersonville, TN passed away Nov. 21, 2011 after a lengthy battle of cancer. He was a devoted husband and a loving father and was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore B. “Ted” and Imogene Ridings Yandell.
Paul is survived by his wife, Marie Jones Yandell of 50 years, (formerly of Appling County); a son and daughter-in-law, Micah and Sheri Sellers (formerly of Appling County) Yandell of Hendersonville, TN; a sister Yvone Lambert of Boaz, KY; a brother Forrest Yandell of Kalasin, Thailand; two nieces, Betsy (Amos) Sanchez of Murfreesboro, TN and Susan Bulter of Boaz, KY; one nephew, Greg (Christa) Yandell of Hendersonville, TN; as well as three great nephews and one great niece.
Mr. Yandell was a member of New Life Baptist Church in Nashville, TN and a member of the Federation of Musicians Local 257, of Nashville, TN. Paul was an accomplished guitar player by the time he left high school, arriving in Nashville in 1955. Little did he know that he would end up playing for the most renowned guitar player in the world. He joined Chet Atkins in 1975 supporting Chet in his career that lasted for 25 years. He started his career with the Louvin Brothers, which lasted until 1959, with Paul playing on many of their greatest hits. After serving in the Army, Paul joined the Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright show where he stayed from 1961 to 1969 after which he worked for about a year with George Hamilton, IV. He then joined Jerry Reed in 1970 and as Paul often said, “he went to college” learning from Jerry Reed. Paul stayed with Reed until sometime in 1975 when he joined up with Chet. Paul also played on many hit records with artists such as Dolly Parton, Steve Wariner, Hank Thompson, Perry Como, Roger Whitaker, Les Paul, Woody Herman, the Everly Brothers, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He appeared on TV Shows such as the Dinah Shore Show, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Pat Sajak Show, The Merv Griffin Show, Nashville Now and was a regular at the Grand Ole Opry.
Since Chet’s death in 2001 Paul has released several CD’s including “Forever Chet”, “One More Again”, “Death Train”, “In the Groove” and “Drive On”.
Merle Atkins Russell (Chet’s daughter) and family presented Paul with the last C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player) on August 11, 2011.
A Celebration of Life Service was held at Hendersonville Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 25 at 5:00 p.m. Visitation with the family preceded the service from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Steve Wariner, Eddie Stubbs and Fred Gretsch delivered eulogies and the Rev. Raymond Langlois delivered the message.
Friends and Musicians in attendance served as honorary pallbearers.
Burial was at Clarks River Baptist Church Cemetery in Symsonia, KY on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Bruce E. Watts and the Rev. Jim Boyd of Clarks River participating in the service. Pallbearers for the burial service were: Eddie Pennington, Paul Moseley, Gayle Moseley, Joe Hudson, Robbie Jones, Ralph Mitchell, Russell Egner, Freddie Russell, James Merrick, Carlos Dale Crooks, Steve Wariner, Mark Thornton, Britt Stewart and Lois and Ricky Hutson.
Hendersonville Funeral Home of Johnny Cash Parkway, Hendersonville, TN was in charge of all arrangements.
Mr. Yandell was the brother-in-law of Helen and Wayne Jones and Helen and Max Gardner of Appling County and is survived by many nieces and nephews of Appling County.