by Robert Wilkinson
Today would have been the guitar master’s 90th birthday!
Chet Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was a guitarist and producer who played a huge part, along with Owen Bradley (of Bradley’s Barn), in creating the modern “Nashville sound.” He won 14 Grammys and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame. He produced Elvis, Dolly Parton, Porter Waggoner, Don Gibson, Waylon Jennings, the Everly Brothers and many more, so you can see he played a major part in the evolution of country music.
We'll begin with this huge hit he produced in 1956, sung by Don Gibson! “Oh Lonesome Me”
Here's another classic he produced for the great Jim Reeves, “Four Walls”
From the early 60s, a b/w video clip of Chet Atkins performing “Wildwood flower”
Here’s Chet picking in the original studio version of “Yankee Doodle Dixie”From the 1987 “Secret Policeman’s Third Ball” I found a clip of Chet and Mark Knopfler doing a great instrumental duet of “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
Here’s a great live video performance of “Mrs. Robinson”
A great clip set to stills of Chet picking one of my all-time faves, “Walk Don’t Run”
Here's Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke and Doc Watson performing "Last Steam Engine Train."
A great 3 minute clip of Chet performing a Beatle medley live on television! “All My Loving," "Here,There, and Everywhere,” “Something," and “Lady Madonna."
From 1975, an entertaining live video performance by Chet of the Scott Joplin standard, “The Entertainer”
From the Mike Douglas Show in the 70s, “Orange Blossom Special”
Here’s Chet live, doing a great performance pickin’ the classic “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “Alabama Jubilee”
We’ll close this tribute to a true guitar Master with a one hour video special from 1987, featuring Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Emmylou Harris, and the Everly Brothers!
Smooth pickin’man, thanks for helping Nashville grow beyond fiddles and steel guitars and embracing what has become modern country music!
It's also the birthday of inventor Lloyd Hall (June 20, 1894 - January 2, 1971), a pioneer in food preservation.
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson