- Richard Carlin
McAuliffe, Leon (03 January 1917–20 August 1988), steel guitarist, was born William Leon McAuliffe in Houston, Texas. The names of his parents are not known. As a youngster McAuliffe became fascinated with the “Hawaiian” style of guitar playing that he heard on the radio and on recordings, such as those by popular recording artist Sol Hoopi. Because many players in this style used steel-bodied instruments, the style was also known as “steel guitar.” By the time he was fifteen, McAuliffe had formed his first group, colorfully named the Waikiki Strummers, and they landed local radio jobs, playing Hawaiian-flavored music along with country, jazz, and blues numbers. Two years later he was invited to join the Light Crust Doughboys, a local band sponsored by a flour company and organized by the company’s public relations representative, ...