American multi-instrumentalist, known mainly for his work as a steel guitarist. He began his career in the 1970s as a member of Barbara Mandrell's road band; in addition he toured with Vince Gill, Mel Tillis, Jerry Reed and Dire Straits. He has since become a prolific session musician in Nashville, playing on more than 500 albums. He has been named by the Academy of Country Music as Best Steel Guitarist on several occasions. He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019. With thirty, Franklin is the most nominated person in CMA history and is notable for having been nominated for the Country Music Association Award for Musician of the Year twenty nine times but has yet to win.