Ralph Mooney, the pioneering steel guitar player who recorded and toured with WAYLON JENNINGS for two decades, died on Sunday night from cancer complications in Kennedale, Texas.

 He was 82. Mooney recorded on numerous hits for MERLE HAGGARD, BUCK OWENS and others.

 But it was for his work with Waylon that he was best known, as well as for his early contributions to the Bakersfield country sound that provided a rougher, more soulful alternative to the slick, string-laden style of the Nashville establishment.