"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
Elvis Presley


Cancer took the physical life of Chet Atkins, but no known sinister force in the universe has the power to extinguish his unprecedented contributions to popular music. As a guitarist, he was peerless, excelling in all forms of music with remarkable ease. Atkins invented a style that is immediately recognizable but nearly impossible to duplicate. Few ever tried.

More than anyone, Chet Atkins steered Nashville on an upward course to become the legitimate capital of the recording industry. Without him, there would be no “Music City USA”. As a recording producer, he had a sense of the possible. Those who knew and worked with him said he could hear a hit song before it was ever recorded. If some unknown performer sang and Atkins was in the room, he already knew if another star had been born.

Chet Atkins was a composer, accompanist, producer and skilled promoter. He is given credit for turning RCA Victor into a recording industry colossus. It was because of Atkins’ urging that RCA purchased Elvis Presley’s contract from Sun Records, a move that revolutionized popular music and made rock and roll a global force.

Hundreds of soon-to-be-stars flocked to his offices in Nashville, and if he recognized potential, then wonderful things would happen. Many times he participated in recording sessions as a backup. Several sessions with legends like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Elvis are memorable.

Years ago, Chet Atkins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He transcended categories and also belongs in the Blues and Rock and Roll shrines. The sale of over one billion records which he made possible is only one example which justifies inclusion.


Other pages:

Hank Ballard creator of The Twist

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Elvis in the Fifties

Waylon Jennings - My Favorite Outlaw

Atlanta's Freddy Cole

Jazz Funeral of a Crescent City legend

The X-Miss Americas

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on tour

Opera Theatre in St. Louis

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