Chet Atkins – Mr.Guitar by Tal Shenhav - Ourboox.com
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Chet Atkins – Mr.Guitar

Member Since
Apr 2020
Published Books
2

Chester Burton Atkins (1924-2001), known as “Mr. Guitar” and “The Country Gentleman”, was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter, and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, Bob Ferguson and others, created the country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music’s appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily known as a guitarist. He also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele.

 

Perhaps his most iconic performance was his 1954 appearance on TV playing a guitar version of “Mr. Sandman”, so let’s start with that!

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Atkins’s signature picking style was inspired by Merle Travis. Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, Les Paul, and, later, Jerry Reed. His distinctive picking style and musicianship brought him admirers inside and outside the country scene, both in the United States and abroad.

 

For those of you who don’t know these amazing guitarists – Shame on you!

Luckily it’s not too late for redemption!

So here’s a little taste of these influencers:

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Les Paul and his wife Marry Ford:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awjTKeS9Wvo

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Django Reinhardt (King of Gypsy Jazz):

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANArGmr74u4

 

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Now let’s go back to our Mr. Guitar himself and see if we can spot any influences we’ve just learned about in his playing:

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Atkins spent most of his career at RCA Victor and produced records for the Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Perry Como, Floyd Cramer, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, and many others!

 

 

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Along his great talent he needed a guitar that could express anything he wanted to say, every nuance and have a full sound that can stand alone at a solo performance or stand out thorough a full band playing.

This guitar was his signature model by “Gretsch Guitars”.

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Chet Atkins – Mr.Guitar by Tal Shenhav - Ourboox.com

Let’s see him rock with his baby on stage:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6cXqM21KbE

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Alongside his solo career and producing gigs, Mr. Guitar had some collaborations that made there marks.

The most remarkable of them was his project with Mark Knopfler!

 

Assuming you know Mark Knopfler’s name but can’t make the connection (shame on you again!), I’ll give you a quick reminder of this legend:

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Back to Chet and Mark’s Collaboration,

The two recorded an album together called “Neck and Neck”.

This album is full with great guitar playing alongside their private humor that sounds like it was improvised, you can say that this combination made this album so magical.

 

 

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“There’ll be some changes made”:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pklluASxfA

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It is just not possible to grasp the full aspect of Chet’s career in one e-book but I hope you’ll continue exploring his music by yourself 🙂

 

To conclude, we’ll finish with this charming video of Chet telling his story and explaining his picking technique:

 

Thank you for reading!

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