A longtime associate of Willie Nelson, Mr. Buskirk remained pretty much under the radar throughout his 60-plus years in the music business, but those in the know regarded him as one of America's best players of several stringed instruments: guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
Buskirk may have been the first American musician to play a solidbody electric mandolin—he took delivery of a 10-string from Paul Bigsby in 1950. (Technically, however, Bigsby's e-mandos aren't entirely solid; they have a neck-through design with hollow wings.) Buskirk's primary instrument in his latter years was a self-designed mandola, which he played on his Western swing CD, Nacogdoches Waltz. He passed away in 2002.