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9-2-17

Musical journey leads to North Florida


Gerald Guy playing steel guitar. -Photo Submitted


By Gabrielle Stevenson


North Central Florida is a unique place for many reasons, and some may know, it hides many talented gems in the form of musicians. Some are natives, born and raised in the area, and others seemed to gravitate here by chance. Even in very rural areas, there are rich music scenes spanning genres and levels of skill. Within this musical melting pot, one such gem, and former Nashville studio session player, Gerald (Jerry) Guy, sets himself apart - and through more than his music. He has worn nearly every cap in the music industry and is a multi-instrumentalist, guitar luthier, music enthusiast and business owner, to name a few short titles. His love of music and recording lent itself easily to a love for videography, which he has served the public with through his company, Angel Video Productions (AVP), for the past 25 years.



AVP provides services in video production HD & 4K, photography, drone videography/photography and has green screen capabilities as well. They also provide recording services for musicians and bands, and have the experience it takes to give customers the right video and photo packages, no matter the event, occasion or project. Guy is the founder of AVP and said he considers it an honor to capture these life moments for his clients. His extensive musical and recording background allows him to bring expertise to every project, large or small, in both family and professional settings. Guy’s musical background began at an early age and has earned him many accolades. It allowed him to ‘rub elbows with the stars’ on many occasions while working as a professional studio musician in Nashville, Tennessee and includes such greats as Vern Gosdin, The Haggar Twins, Ronnie Millsap - just to name a few. There was no denying he was born to play music. It came naturally to Guy, who plays banjo, mandolin, dobro, steel guitar, lead guitar, drums, bass and even some piano. He was born in Waycross, Georgia, but his family moved south to Florida, where he started playing the music scenes in Tampa. He joined his first band in his early teens and a couple years later the guitarist was picked up as bass player for a local group. He recalled those first gigs in detail, “When I was sixteen, an adult named Tommy Wilson said he wanted me to play bass guitar. I’d never played bass. He told my mom and dad he would get a work permit on me (to be able to play music in the bars). So my dad bought me a Fender Jazz bass and a Standell amplifier.” Guy said he was making $22.51 a night for playing in those early days, a healthy sum for someone so young. “I’d play for 45 minutes, then they’d walk me to the car (due to the work permit). I’d sit in the car for fifteen minutes, then go back. I was thinking, boy, this is a great life. I’d get home and have to get back up at 5 or 5:30 to go to school,” he commented on the experience.


Angel Video Productions Owner Gerald Guy standing with a camera.
-Photo: Submitted



By age of seventeen, he was picked up to go on the road as a touring musician with Herold White. Guy explained,

“He had a great dance band and all the club circuits from Billings, Montana, to Denver, Colorado - all these places - wanted him because he had a good dance band. I started playing bass for Herold. Later on, I moved to guitar and that went to steel guitar.” Amazingly, both musicians would end up coming to Live Oak later in life, playing together again in the melting pot as a local group that many will recall, the Herold White Band.


Guy said, “Back then, I was just a kid. It was exciting to see these stars. I didn’t care where I was going. I was just young.” The door opened naturally for him however, and his talent did not go unnoticed as he progressed and grew as a musician, picking up the drums and other instruments along the way, he eventually found himself in Nashville. Guy said artists, producers, and the like would hear a musician playing and hire them to be on their record if they liked their work. As the artists and studio musicians approved, these session players were able to build credibility, recognition and a portfolio as time passed by and connections were made. He explained, “Like with Vern Gosdin, you get picked for this and get chosen for that, and it was right there. People that hang out with all the big type guitar players and steel players; they know each other because they go to all these things together. You get in that little clique. Once you get in the clique, you got it. It was a great experience.


Guy worked as a studio musician in Nashville for twelve years, on and off, as his studio sessions led to package shows, or live touring shows with bigger names and opportunities. In the studio, he was laying down tracks to many different music styles on lead guitar, steel guitar and bass guitar. “I was good with studio work because I had a vivid imagination. At one time, I would never play the same lick twice. On the gigs, it kind of got me in trouble, but in the studio, it was great,” he laughed.


Guy’s music has taken him all over the United States. He has played every kind of venue, from small bar scenes, to enormous crowds alongside famous names, and even on television. “Now, it’s different,” Guy explained he has taken a step back to appreciate the music in a new way. He is currently the lead and steel guitarist for local Christian Country band, the Mercy Mountain Boys (MMB). Guy said, “I’m 67 years old and I appreciate the MMB. I’ve turned back into a signature player. It was hard for me to turn back into that and leave all this wildness behind me. That’s where I’m at now.”


In the 1990’s, Guy became a born again Christian and has played in churches and with Christian music groups. He said what he is doing now with MMB band is what he truly loves, Contemporary Christian and Christian Country music, although he is versed in all genres and loves many styles of music. “I’ve had to reclaim self discipline because we have to play what’s on the record and I’m able to still do that,” explained Guy.


Guy is also on staff at Westwood Baptist Church of Live Oak under musical director Jim McCoy. “I play lead guitar with the praise and worship team on Wednesday nights and Sundays. Kathy Lamb Hals is also a dear friend and when I first came to the church, she kind of brought me in helped me get settled into playing there,” he commented.


A true musical veteran of North Central Florida, Guy loves to work with people who are excited about music and working on musical projects of their own. He also judges competitions at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park when needed, and stays involved with the local music scene in North Florida when time allows.


Many things led Guy to Live Oak and his business, Angel Video Productions, has succeeded with 25 years of professionalism. Whether the project is a wedding, Quinceañera, recital, seminar, school function, training video, drone footage, TV commercial, radio commercial, music video, YouTube video, Facebook video or a special family gathering, AVP strives to have an ‘all-in-one’ array of services, simplifying the process for their customers. On staff with Guy for many productions is Donny Weatherford, drummer/vocalist in the Mercy Mountain Boys, and Diann White. Guy said both of them help make many AVP productions a success and is glad they are part of his team. Examples of all their work can be found on their website,

http://angelvideoproductions.net, and Facebook page,

www.facebook.com/Angel-Video-Productions.

To discuss a unique package, give them a call at (386) 205-1031.


Gerald playing steel guitar earlier in his career. -Photo: Submitted



Gerald Guy is the lead and steel guitarist for local Christian Country band the Mercy Mountain Boys.  -Photo: Submitted