Annual Steel Guitar
Convention Cruise

Bill Ferguson

Bill was born in Atlanta, GA, May 20, 1947 to Carl & Annie Mae Ferguson. Bill has 5 sisters and 1 brother. Bill attended Southwest DeKalb High School and graduated (barely) in 1965. Bill met Linda Chesser in 1966, when she was 16 and married her in 1967, when she was 17. They lived in Decatur, GA until 1972 when they moved to Norcross, GA and still live in the same house. Bill was in the cabinet business with his brother from 1967 until 1996, until they decided to close the business. Bill then went into the flooring business and has since retired in 2013.Bill started playing music at the age of 12 on a D28 Martin Guitar given to him by his sister. Unable to do much with the guitar, Bill decided he wanted to be a bass player. He played in a band called the "Dynamics" while in high school. Bill went on to play bass with several Rock and Roll bands. Wendell Carter, of Carter’s Music, was instrumental in introducing him to country music and the Alpharetta American Legion at a very young age. Bill met Atlanta steel guitar legend Mac Atcheson in 1969 and a wonderful and long friendship began. Bill fell in love with the steel guitar and the beautiful music that Mac made. Bill bought his first steel guitar, a Sho~Bud in 1970. In the late 1970’s, Bill has a chance to tour with a national act, but declined in order to stay with his family and keep his business running.Over the years Bill has been a part of many Atlanta area bands. He played with in "Swingin' Texans" with Margie and Buddy Pattillo. He was part of the "Ray Mize Five" in Alpharetta at the American Legion for seven years. He played in the Wild Fire Band at the American Legion in Loganville for ten years. Then for eleven years, ending in 2008, he was with the "Country River Band". Bill is also a featured performer on many regional & national steel guitar shows.In addition to Bill’s playing he has always been very active in supporting and promoting steel guitar and country music. In the late 1970’s, Bill was a leader in putting together a series of jam sessions named “The Picker’s Pick”. These sessions allowed the professional country music community of Atlanta to come together for a day of music and fellowship. They continue today but the name has changed to the “Picker’s Re”Tune”ion, held in Conyers, GA twice a year, co-produced with Paul Aiken.In 1978 Bill joined the International Steel Guitar Association staff as an audio and later video specialist. Bill has not missed an ISGA event since he began that role and is a key contributor on the staff. In 2012, Bill joined the Texas Steel Guitar Association as their co-emcee and also performer.Through Bill’s years of handling the sound at the International Steel Guitar Convention and other shows, he has amassed what may be the world’s largest library of recorded steel guitar performances. Through agreement with the artists and Scotty, Bill is making these selected performances available on the Internet through his “Steelpicker” user ID on YouTube.Bill has been very generous with his time and knowledge over the years mentoring others who wanted to learn to play steel guitar. Bill’s protégés include Roger Crawford, Jonathan Cullifer, Brett Day, and Austin Tripp.Bill and his wife, Linda, have two daughters, Christie and Brandi, sons-in-law, Chris and Tim, and four grandchildren, Cooper, Eli, Brooke and Jordan. Currently Bill plays steel guitar shows and freelances when called upon for dances and shows. Bill is also the Secretary/Treasurer and Event coordinator for Georgia Steel Guitar Association.