Chet will always hold his place in musical history as one of the top 10 guitar virtuosos. He inspired many and his legacy will not be forgotten. However, where did Chet find the inspiration that led him to earn the long-standing title of “Mr. Guitar”?
Chet’s half-brother, Jim was his first local idol. James was 12 years older and as a child, Chet listened to Jim play on Chicago’s WLS radio broadcasting system program, The National Barn Dance. From 1935 to 1939, Jim was actively making music with some of the upcoming greats in the industry. This time acted as paving services, putting down musical foundations for Chet to come into his own musically. Through the years, Jim played with several gifted artists, but one of the most influential musicians in Chet’s early life was, Les Paul.
For a career lasting over 50 years, Chet leaves a legacy that branches out and continues to grow to this day. Although we lost one of the most gifted musicians in the industry, his range of influence continues to spread long after his death in 2001.
Kitchener movers were given a collection of Atkin’s greatest hits by a client as a thank-you for a job well done. Atkins touched a wide audience range – north and south, east and west. From the beginning, his first single with The All-Star Hillbillies in 1946 set him in the public eye. He advanced in his role as a master musician until he retired from public appearances in 1996. His virtuosity as a guitarist was and still is regarded as one of the all-time best.
What else was going on when Chet was at the height of his career? We know it was a simpler time without Instagram and Facebook, so who was making the cover of Star Studded Magazine back then?
Atkins’ career spanned five decades. After graduating from High School in 1942, he hit the musical road and never looked back. At the time, he was in the shadows, but soon his talents were recognized and the 1950s, 60s and until his death in 2001 he was a major player. He lived through the bright lights and the smoky rooms with other entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Elvis Presley.
As Elizabeth Taylor’s 3rd wedding limousine pulled up to their hotel in Acapulco, Mexico it wasn’t a Mariachi band or any of those aforementioned crooners welcoming the happy couple. It was our Chet’s music piped through the lobby with his rendition of I’ll See You In My Dreams.
When Chet Atkins was in his heyday we lived in simpler times. It was a time before the internet and social media and entertainers getting themselves confused with being political pundits. Back then people listened to our favorite crooners and didn’t have to take in their personal rhetoric about who should be or shouldn’t be holding public office.
Chet Atkins performed at the White House for every President from John F. Kennedy all the way through to George H.W. Bush, but we never heard him spout out his political views. His job was to entertain and bring music to the people – plain and simple. Jobs are self-designated. Chefs cook, landscapers offer tree trimming service Kansas City MO and musicians perform music. It seems that using fame as a foundation for wisdom is not necessarily credible.