R. Reese Fuller

The Last Drifting Cowboy

by R. Reese Fuller

Don Helms, the last Drifting Cowboy, died early this morning in Nashville at the age of 81.

If you've ever heard a Hank Williams song, you've heard Helms on the steel guitar. He was the last surviving member of Williams' Drifting Cowboys band and in recent years was a frequent performer in Acadiana, particularly at theĀ  country music shows held at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice, playing eight shows over the the last six years. He was also the subject of the 2006 Independent feature piece, "Country Comes to Town."

LUS Director Terry Huval (also an alum of Jambalaya Cajun Band and the Liberty shows) says of Helms: "He enjoyed our music, our food and our culture and was always ready to join us. He was the last Drifting Cowboy and had become one of my closest and dearest friends. I will miss him."