MUSIC GIANT CHET ATKINS
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 Presleys
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.