Chet Atkins: Rare Performances 1955-1975
Few names are as synonymous with the guitar as that of Chet Atkins. He set the standard by which generations of country fingerstyle guitarists have benn measured. But his influence transcends regions and genres. The sound of 20th century guitar would not be the same without the impact of this gentle genius who was at the height of his influence and creative powers when the performances presented in this video were captured.
The much travelled “Mr. Guitar” is seen playing in this video collection everywhere from Nashville to Norway. His signature Gretsch Tennesseean guitar, on which Chet made exquisitely effective use of its Bigsby vibrato bar, is heard in all its sweet, reverb-laden glory on many of these clips. But Chet, whose versitility embraces all styles of guitar, is also seen playing a classical model and a Martin dreadnaught. No matter what he plays, the sound produced becomes a distinct auditory fingerprint of the man known in Nashville as C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player).
The relaxed mastery evident in this video explains why Chet was honored in 1993 with a Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy: “For his peerless fingerstyle guitar technique, his extensive creative legacy documented on more than one hundred albums, and his influential work on both sides of the recording console as a primary architect of the Nashville sound.”
Titles include: Purina Show 1955: The Poor People of Paris, Side by Side, Makin’ Believe · Ozark Jubilee 1958: Villa, Say Si Si · Norway 1963: Levee Walking, Wildwood Flower, Yes Ma’am, Malaguena, Medley: Greensleeves/Streets of Laredo, Peanut Vendor, Tiger Rag · Norway (Nashville Cavalcade) 1973: Alhambra, Black Mountain Rag, Medley: The Three Bells/I Can’t Stop Loving You/Java/He’ll Have To Go/When You’re Hot You’re Hot/Oh Lonesome Me, Just Another Rag, Mr Bojangles, Missionera, Wheels · Porter Wagoner Show 1973: Muskrat Ramble · Pop Goes The Country 1975: Vincent.