Chet Atkins

Chester Burton „Chet” Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, amongst others created the smoother country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country’s appeal to adult pop music fans as well. He was primarily known as a guitarist, but also played the fiddle and banjo and earlier the ukulele. Atkins’ signature picking style was inspired by Merle Travis. Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, Les Paul and later Jerry Reed. His trademark picking style and musicianship brought him admirers within and outside the country scene, both in the United States and internationally. Atkins spent most of his career at RCA Victor and produced records for The Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Perry Como, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings and many others. Among many honors, Atkins received 14 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, nine Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year awards, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

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