Grayling’s Fred Kelly Dies at 86: His Guitar Picks Known by Artists Worldwide

“His guitar picks have helped so many people with the success of playing the way they can play,” said Patricia Napier, Fred Kelly’s daughter.

When he couldn’t find a guitar pick he liked, Fred Kelly made his own.

Eventually artists like Led Zeppelin and Charlie Daniels wanted one too.

Fred Kelly passed away last week at the age of 86.

However he leaves behind a lasting legacy.

“He’s very gifted. His love for music has had all of the whole family loving music,” said Napier.

Napier says she remembers her childhood surrounded by music.

“Watching my dad play. He used to take us to some of his gigs when we were little,” said Napier.

Her dad, Fred Kelly, was an exceptional guitar player who couldn’t find the right pick.

“He was so frustrated about that so he started thinking I’m gonna make one,” said Napier.

So in 1978, he did.

“I remember watching him make it,” said Napier. “It started from there and he started making more and more.”

She says he always wanted to create something different which eventually led to his award winning work.

“He always wanted to better the product and so many guitar players have so many different needs and different styles,” said Napier.

From rock legends like Led Zeppelin to classic country artists like Charlie Daniels and Chet Atkins, Fred Kelly Picks earned quite a reputation.

Ralph Dandy started working for Fred Kelly Picks about 10 years ago.

“He found out that I took an early retirement out of the post office and wanted to know if I wanted to work for him for a couple hours a week,” said Dandy. “And then it turned in to 30 hours a week.”

He says it’s the family atmosphere and Fred himself that kept him coming back.

“He was very kind, considerate and warm and patient, explaining how everything worked,” said Dandy.

The family says they have no intention of stopping what their dad started.

“We believe in this product just like my dad did,” said Napier.