Steve Ripley, leader of the country rock band The Tractors, died Thursday at his home in Pawnee, Okla. at the age of 69, surrounded by his family. He had been suffering from cancer.
In addition to his work as a recording artist, Ripley was also a songwriter, producer, engineer, studio owner, radio host and inventor of the “stereo guitar” favored by such fellow musicians as Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder and Dweezil Zappa.
Owner of The Church Studio in Tulsa for 19 years, Ripley additionally distinguished himself by playing guitar with Bob Dylan and producing and/or engineering projects for Leon Russell, J. J, Cale, Roy Clark, Johnnie Lee Wills, and many others.
Ripley is survived by his wife Charlene, his children, Elvis Ripley and Angelene Ripley Wright, son-in-law Jonny Wright, his grandson Mickey Wilder Ripley Wright, and brothers Scott Ripley and Bobby Ripley and their families.
By Ricky Van Shelton