Born August 31, 1951, to William and Odessa Banks, Donna and her twin sister, Diane, were destined to marry musicians and serve their communities in various ways. But, first, they traveled the world with their Air Force family, moving every two years, making many friends along the way.
Fate may have brought Donna and her husband – steel player, Tommy Dodd together in 1998, when Donna’s twin, Diane, and her musician husband, David Leonard, made the introduction. On their first date, Tommy and Donna discovered that they were both Air Force Brats from “everywhere”. Further conversations revealed that Donna and Tommy were both born in the same Air Force hospital at McDill AFB, Tampa, Florida, just two years apart. (Donna 1951, Tommy 1949) Tommy’s younger brother, John, was also born in 1951, at the same hospital, and at the same time Donna and her twin, Diane, were still in the hospital receiving extended care for their premature births!
Donna and Tommy married in 1999, and she soon felt right at home within the steel guitar community. She has loved the sound of the steel guitar as far back as she can remember. Tommy recalls the first time he was in Donna's home in 1998. He stood browsing at the selections on her 1957 Seeburg jukebox, and was shocked that A7 was SLEEP WALK, the steel guitar instrumental by Santos & Johnny!
In early 2003, Bob Lee, owner and administrator of the International Steel Guitar Forum, asked Donna’s help in moderating three sections of the Forum; a volunteer position she still holds today.
Later in the year, Roger Crawford, Donna Dodd, Wade Medlock, and Tom Mormon worked as a team to bring their vision of having a Georgia steel guitar club to life.
The Georgia Steel Guitar Association was taking shape. Officers were carefully selected; and, the organization’s mission statement and by-laws were written to ensure integrity, structure, and fairness. In 2005, Donna designed and launched the organization’s website, GeorgiaSteelGuitar.com; and still, for more than 13 years, she researches, updates, and maintains all information on the site.
Donna also oversees the admissions desk at the steel guitar shows, organizing and administering exchange of monies, door prizes, raffles, and volunteer help. She greets each and every attendee with the same appreciation and respect she would in her own home. Donna has a proven track record of dedication and teamwork; and, as Roger Crawford recently said, “is the voice of reason on the Board”.
Tommy and Donna Dodd have two grown sons each, three daughters in law, and five grandchildren.
Congratulations to Donna Dodd, recipient of the 2018 Georgia Steel Guitar Legend Award, honored for her significant contributions to the advancement of the steel guitar.
2018 Members of the Board:
Roger Crawford, VP; Bill Cunningham, President; Donna Dodd, Website Administrator; Bill Ferguson, Secretary-Treasurer
Working the door: Linda Ferguson, Audra Cunningham, Donna Dodd
Tommy and Donna Dodd