Buddy Emmons earned a place among Nashville's elite as one of the finest steel guitar players in the business. Born in Mishawaka, IN, he first fell in love with the instrument at age 11 when he received a six-string lap steel guitar as a gift. As a teen, he enrolled at the Hawaiian Conservatory of Music in South Bend, IN, and began playing professionally in Calumet City and Chicago at age 16. In 1956, Emmons went to Detroit to fill in for Walter Haynes during a performance with Little Jimmy Dickens; soon afterward he was invited to join Dickens' Country Boys. He appeared with them a few times on The Grand Ole Opry and recorded with them on a few singles, including "Buddy's Boogie" (1957). He also recorded a pair of solo singles for Columbia, "Cold Rolled Steel" (1956) and "Silver Bells" (1957).