Posted by themusicsover on June 30, 2010
June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001
Chet Atkins was one of the most influential musicians to come out of Nashville. And yet, he was much more than that. Atkins worked on the business side as well, spending some time as an artist manager as well as Vice President of RCA Records‘ country division where he remarkably signed Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Bobby Bare, Connie Smith and Jerry Reed to name just a few. As a producer, Atkins made hits for Elvis Presley, Perry Como, Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings and many more. The sounds he created on record are credited as being one of the foundations of what would become known as the Nashville Sound. Atkins’ style of playing was itself influenced by the great Merle Travis and is one of the most difficult sounds to imitate, earning him the nickname, “Mister Guitar.” Over the course of his career, Atkins won fourteen Grammys, nine Country Music Association awards, and the Billboard Century award. He was also inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, invited to the White House to play for every president from Kennedy to Bush Sr., and had a stretch of highway in Georgia named after him. Atkins died of cancer on June 30, 2001.
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