Shine A Light: Chet Atkins

Writer, picker extraordinaire, finder of talent and record producer ! Not bad for an ole boy from Luttrell, Tennessee.

I first remember seeing Chet’s name on Waylon Jennings records. Little did I know, Chet was already a master and a legend by that time, and had become a record mogul !

Chet Atkins was responsible for bringing Waylon Jennings out of Phoenix, and he kept recording Willie Nelson again and again, despite the fact that they couldn’t sell any records on him. Well, things turned out pretty good for both Waylon and Willie.

Atkins history goes way back from Homer and Jethro, to the Carter Family, and Eddy Arnold. Surprisingly enough in a weird twist, Elvis Presley’s rise gave way for Atkins. Steve Sholes began working with Presley and Sholes have Atkins control of Nashville RCA. With the popularity of Presley and Rock and Roll, they began stripping steel and fiddle from Country records. That gave birth to the smooth, clean style that was known as the Nashville Sound.

So go check out Chet Atkins. If Mark Knopfler calls him the greatest guitar player, then there must be something to it.


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