Story by UEC
Chet Atkins died on Saturday morning, June 30th, 2001, at his home in Nashville, TN, after battling cancer for several years. His Funeral was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium, July 3rd and his eulogy was delivered by good friend and “Prairie Home Companion” radio host Garrison Keillor.
Thanks for all the great years Chet … from the Gretsch family.
Chet Atkins Chet Atkins was one of the most popular and best respected musicians of the last half century. He won 14 Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at age 49, making him the youngest inductee ever.
During the 50’s Atkins achieved increasing fame thanks to an easy-on-the-ear style that spanned both country and jazz. His relaxed style produced a technique that simultaneously provided melody, chord voicing and syncopated bass lines.
The first Gretsch ‘Signature’ guitar featured design input from the artist himself and production soon began on the Chet Atkins Hollow Body guitars. These fine instruments featured classic western design which are still the hallmark of the Gretsch tradition. It’s no wonder that these guitars are some of the most desirable hollow body electrics on the vintage market today.
Gretsch and Chet Atkins became synonymous for a great many years with models such as The Nashville, The Country Gentleman, The Tennessean, The Round Up, The Super Chet, The Deluxe Chet and even an Atkins Super Axe. Few companies have enjoyed such a successful relationship as Gretsch has with Chet Atkins. He will be missed.
“Years from now, after I’m gone someone will listen to what I’ve done and know I was here. They may not know or care who I was, but they’ll hear my guitars speaking for me.”
Chet Atkins Special Tribute to Chet
The November Issue of Guitar Player Magazine pays a special tribute to Chet Atkins with an in-depth look at his life, recordings and some of the many great artists who have enjoyed performing with him. If you have a chance, pick up this excellent issue and read about the man who earned the name, “Mister Guitar”!