Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins (20 de junio de 1924 – 30 de junio de 2001) fue un influyente guitarrista y productor de country. Su estilo, inspirado por Merle Travis, Django Reinhardt, George Barnes y Les Paul - le trajo admiradores ambos dentro y fuera de la escena de EE. UU. Atkins produjo discos para Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Connie Smith, y Waylon Jennings. Él creó, junto a Owen Bradley, el estilo de música country más suave y tranquilizador conocido como el sonido Nashville, que amplió la música country incluyendo a admiradores de música pop adultos.
Chet Atkins nació en Luttrell, Tennessee, y creció con su madre, dos hermanos y una hermana, siendo el más joven. Sus padres se divorciaron cuando él tenía seis años. Comenzó tocando el ukelele, más tarde avanzó al violín, pero negoció con su hermano Lowell una vieja pistola y algunas tareas para hacerse con una guitarra cuando él tenía nueve años. Forzado a trasladarse a Georgia (estado) para vivir con su padre debido a una casi fatal condición asmática, Atkins fue un joven sensible que hizo de la música su obsesión. Se hizo un guitarrista dotado mientras estaba en educación media. Atkins era autodidacta y, más tarde, la vida le concedió junto a Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed y John Knowles el graduado honoris causa "CGP", significando "Guitarrista Certificado" (en inglés, Certified Guitar Player). Su hermanastro Jim fue también un guitarrista acertado que llegó a trabajar con el Trío de Les Paul en Nueva York.
Atkins no tuvo un estilo propio hasta 1939, cuando, todavía viviendo en Georgia, oyó tocar a Merle Travis en la radio (la WLW). Esta temprana influencia formó su estilo propio de tocar. Mientras que la mano derecha de Travis utilizó su índice para la melodía y el pulgar para apuntes de bajo, Atkins amplió su estilo de mano derecha para incluir una pulsación a las cuerdas con sus tres primeros dedos, y con el pulgar sobre el bajo. El resultado fue una claridad y complejidad que hizo su sonido inequívoco. Después de dejar el colegio en 1942, consiguió un trabajo en WNOX la radio de Knoxville. Allí tocó el violín y la guitarra con el cantante Bill Carlisle y el cómico Archie Campbellasí como también se hizo miembro de la estación "Dixieland Swingsters", un pequeño combo instrumental de swing.
Después de tres años, se movió a la radio WLW en Cincinnati, Ohio, donde Merle Travis anteriormente había trabajado. Después de seis meses él se movió a Raleigh y trabajó con Johnnie y Jack antes de dirigirse a Richmond, Virginia, donde tocó con la banda "Sunshine Sue Workman". La personalidad tímida de Atkins trabajó contra él, dándose el hecho de que su estilo sofisticado condujo a muchos a dudar que fuera realmente un intérprete "country". Fue despedido a menudo, pero también fue capaz de conseguir otro trabajo en otra emisora de radio debido a su manera única de tocar. Atkins hizo sus propios discos, que por lo general tomaban normas de pop y de jazz, en un estudio propio sofisticado en su casa, a menudo grabando las pistas de ritmo en la radio RCA, pero añadiendo sus partes de solo en casa, refinándolo todo hasta que el resultado lo satisficiera. Los guitarristas de todos los estilos llegaban de todas partes para admirar sus álbumes debido a sus ideas musicales únicas y en algunos casos, sus ideas electrónicas experimentales. En este período Atkins se hizo conocido internacionalmente como "Mister Guitar" (Señor Guitarra), que es también el nombre de uno de sus álbumes. Su marca registrada para tocar, "el Estilo de Atkins", es muy difícil de dominar para un guitarrista. Consiste en usar el pulgar y los primeros dos -a veces tres- dedos de la mano derecha. Atkins desarrolló este estilo al escuchar a Merle Travis de vez en cuando de una radio primitiva. Él estaba seguro de que nadie podría tocar esto articuladamente con solamente el pulgar y el índice (que en realidad era exactamente como Travis lo tocaba) y asumió que para esto se requerían el pulgar y dos dedos. Así llegó al estilo que él promovió y dominó.
El hit más grande de Atkins fue el single de 1965, "Yakety Axe" una adaptación de su amigo saxofonista Boots Randolph, "Yakety Sax". Él raras veces se presentaba en vivo en aquel tiempo, y eventualmente tuvo que contratar a otros productores de RCA como Robert Fergusony Felton Jarvis para aliviar su carga de trabajo. Un combate en 1973 contra el cáncer de colon, sin embargo, condujo Atkins a redefinir su papel en RCA y permitir a otros manejar la administración mientras que él volvió a su primer amor, la guitarra, a menudo grabando con Reed o incluso con Homer y Jethro en Jethro Burns (el cuñado de Atkins) después de que Homer muriese.
Hasta finales de los años 70, Atkins trabajó como productor. Nuevos ejecutivos en RCA tenían ideas diferentes. Primero se retiró de su posición en la empresa, y luego comenzó a sentirse incómodo como artista porque RCA no le dejaría diversificarse en el jazz. Al mismo tiempo se molestó con la dirección Gretsch ya sin posesión familiar sobre ella. Retiró su autorización para que usaran su nombre y comenzó a diseñar guitarras Gibson. Finalmente abandonó RCA en 1982 y firmó con Columbia Records, para la cual produjo un álbum de estreno en 1983. Mientras estaba con Columbia, mostró su creatividad y gusto en la guitarra de jazz, y en varios otros contextos. El jazz siempre fue su amor y, a menudo, en su carrera fue criticado por músicos "puros" de country del país, por sus influencias de jazz. También dijo en muchas ocasiones que no le gustaba ser llamado un "guitarrista country", insistiendo que él era un guitarrista nada más. Aunque tocase 'de oído' y fuese un improvisador magistral, también fue capaz de leer la música y hasta realizó algunos arreglos de guitarra clásicos con gusto y distinción. Más tarde, volvió al country con álbumes que él registró junto a Mark Knopfler y Jerry Reed. Siendo requerido a nombrar a los diez guitarristas más influyentes del siglo XX, nombró a Django Reinhardt en primera posición de la lista, y él mismo se ubicó quinta posición.
En años posteriores volvió a la radio, apareciendo en Garrison Keillor's Prarie Home Companion, llegando incluso al punto de tocar un violín de tiempo en tiempo.
Atkins recibió numerosos premios, incluyendo once Grammy Awards y nueve premios de la Country Music Association. Mientras hacía más y más actos, en los años noventa su salud se resintió y el cáncer volvió y esta vez empeorado. Chet Atkins moría el 30 de junio de 2001 en su casa en Nashville.
Atkins fue citado muchas veces en todas partes de su carrera, y en su propio legado él una vez dijo:
"Años después, luego de que me haya ido, alguien escuchará lo que hice y sabrá que yo estuve aquí. A ellos no les importará quién era yo, pero ellos oirán a mis guitarras hablando por mí."
Enlaces externos [editar]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Birth name||Chester Burton Atkins|
|Also known as||Mr. Guitar|
The Country Gentleman
|Born||June 20, 1924|
Luttrell, Tennessee, US
|Died||June 30, 2001 (aged 77)|
|Genres||Country, Classical, Folk, Jazz|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Producer|
|Years active||1942 – 2001|
Gibson Chet Atkins SST
Chester Burton Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001), better known as Chet Atkins, was an American guitarist and record producer who created, along with Owen Bradley, the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well.
His picking style, inspired by Merle Travis, Django Reinhardt, George Barnes and Les Paul, brought him admirers within and outside the country scene, both in the United States and internationally. Atkins produced records for Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Connie Smith, Waylon Jennings and 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 Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Childhood and early life
Chet Atkins was born on June 20, 1924, in Luttrell, Tennessee, near the Clinch Mountains, and grew up with his mother, two brothers and a sister—he was the youngest. His parents divorced when he was six. He started out on the ukulele, later moving on to the fiddle, but traded his brother Lowell an old pistol and some chores for a guitar when he was nine. He stated in his 1974 autobiography, "We were so poor and everybody around us was so poor that it was the forties before anyone even knew there had been a depression." Forced to relocate to Fortson, Georgia to live with his father due to a near-fatal asthma condition, Atkins was a sensitive youth who made music his obsession. Because of his illness, he was forced to sleep in a straight-back chair in order to breathe comfortably. On those nights, he would play his guitar until he fell asleep holding it, a habit which lasted his whole life. While living in Fortson, he attended historic Mountain Hill School. He would return in the 1990s to play a series of charity concerts to save the school from demolition.
Stories have been told about the very young Chet who, when a friend or relative would come to visit, and if that person played a guitar, would crowd in and put his ear so very close to the instrument that it became difficult for that person to play. This was an early demonstration of his affinity for the instrument that would later become his life, and that he would take around the world, playing packed concert halls from Nashville to the Boston Pops.
Atkins became an accomplished guitarist while he was in high school. He would use the restroom in the school to practice, because it gave better acoustics. His first guitar had a nail for a nut and was so bowed that only the first few frets could be used. He later purchased a semi-acoustic electric guitar and amp, but he had to travel many miles to find an electrical outlet since his home had no electricity.
Atkins did not have a strong style of his own until 1939 when (while still living in Georgia) he heard Merle Travis picking over WLWradio. This early influence dramatically shaped his unique playing style. Whereas Travis's right hand utilized his index finger for the melody and thumb for bass notes, Atkins expanded his right hand style to include picking with his first three fingers, with the thumb on bass. The result was a clarity and complexity that became his unmistakable sound.
Later in life he lightheartedly gave himself (along with John Knowles, Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Wariner and Jerry Reed) the honorary degree CGP, standing for "Certified Guitar Player". His half-brother Jim was a successful guitarist who worked with the Les Paul Trio in New York.
Chet Atkins was a Ham Radio General class licensee. Formerly using the call-sign, WA4CZD, he obtained the vanity call sign W4CGP in 1998 to reflect the C.G.P. name. He was an ARRL member. 
Early musical career
After dropping out of high school in 1942, Atkins landed a job at WNOX-AM radio in Knoxville. There he played fiddle and guitar with singerBill Carlisle and comic Archie Campbell as well as becoming a member of the station's "Dixieland Swingsters," a small swing instrumental combo. After three years, he moved to WLW-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Merle Travis had formerly worked.
After six months he moved to Raleigh and worked with Johnnie and Jack before heading for Richmond, Virginia, where he performed with Sunshine Sue Workman. Atkins's shy personality worked against him, as did the fact that his sophisticated style led many to doubt he was truly "country." He was fired often but was soon able to land another job at another radio station due to his unique playing ability.
Traveling to Chicago, Atkins auditioned for Red Foley, who was leaving his star position on WLS-AM's National Barn Dance to join theGrand Ole Opry. Atkins made his first appearance at the Opry in 1946 as a member of Foley's band. He also recorded a single for Nashville-based Bullet Records that year. That single, "Guitar Blues," was fairly progressive, including as it did, a clarinet solo by Nashville dance band musician Dutch McMillan with Owen Bradley on piano. He had a solo spot on the Opry; but when that was cut, Atkins moved on to KWTO-AM in Springfield, Missouri. Despite the support of executive "Si" Siman, however, he was soon was fired for not sounding "country enough."
RCA Victor signs Atkins
While working with a western band in Denver, Colorado, Atkins came to the attention of RCA Victor. Siman had been encouraging Steve Sholes to sign Atkins, as his style (with the success of Merle Travis as a hit recording artist) was suddenly in vogue. Sholes, A&R director of country music at RCA, tracked Atkins down to Denver.
He made his first RCA recordings in Chicago in 1947. They did not sell. He did some studio work for RCA that year but had relocated to Knoxville again where he worked with Homer and Jethro on WNOX's new Saturday night radio show the Tennessee Barn Dance and the popular Midday Merry Go Round. Still, it was a hard way to make a living for a family man for by then he had a wife and daughter. He even contemplated tuning pianos as a sideline.
In 1949 he left WNOX to join Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters back on KWTO. This incarnation of the old Carter Family featured Maybelle Carter and daughters June, Helen and Anita. Their work soon attracted attention from the Opry. The group relocated to Nashvillein mid-1950. Atkins began working on recording sessions, performing on WSM-AM and the Opry.
While he hadn't yet had a hit record on RCA his stature was growing. He began assisting Sholes as a Session Leader when the New York-based producer needed help organizing Nashville sessions for RCA artists. Atkins's first hit single was "Mr. Sandman," followed by "Silver Bell," which he did as a duet withHank Snow. His albums also became more popular, and he was featured on ABC-TV's The Eddy Arnold Show during the summer of 1956.
In addition to recording, Atkins became a design consultant for Gretsch, who manufactured a popular Chet Atkins line of electric guitars from 1955-1980. Atkins also became manager of RCA's Nashville studio, eventually inspiring and seeing the completion of the legendary RCA Studio B. This studio was the first studio built specifically for the purpose of recording on the now famous Music Row.
Performer and producer
When Sholes took over pop production in 1957 — a result of his success with Elvis Presley — he put Atkins in charge of RCA's Nashville division. With country music record sales in tatters as rock and roll took over, Atkins and Bob Ferguson took their cue from Owen Bradleyand eliminated fiddles and steel guitar as a means of making country singers appeal to pop fans. This became known as 'The Nashville Sound' which Chet said was a label created by the media attached to a style of recording done during that period in an effort to keep country (and their jobs) viable.
Atkins used the Jordanaires and a rhythm section on hits like Jim Reeves' "Four Walls" and "He'll Have to Go" and Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me" and "Blue Blue Day." The once rare phenomenon of having a country hit "cross over" to pop success became more common. He and Bradley had essentially put the producer in the driver's seat, guiding an artist's choice of material and the musical background.
Atkins made his own records, which usually visited pop standards and jazz, in a sophisticated home studio, often recording the rhythm tracks at RCA but adding his solo parts at home, refining it all until the result satisfied him. Guitarists of all styles came to admire various Atkins albums for their unique musical ideas and in some cases experimental electronic ideas. In this period he became known internationally as Mister Guitar (also the name of one of Atkins's albums).
His trademark "Atkins Style" of playing, which was and is very difficult for a guitarist to master, uses the thumb and first two — sometimes three — fingers of the right hand. He developed this style from listening to Merle Travis occasionally on a primitive radio. He was sure no one could play that articulately with just the thumb and index finger (which actually was exactly how Travis played) and he assumed it required the thumb and two fingers — and that was the style he pioneered and mastered.
He enjoyed jamming with fellow studio musicians which led to them being asked to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960. Although that performance was canceled due to rioting, a live recording of the group (After the Riot at Newport) was released. Atkins performed by invitation at the White House for presidents Kennedy through George H. W. Bush. Atkins was a member of the Million Dollar Band during the 1980s. He is also well known for his song "Yankee Doodle Dixie," in which he played Yankee Doodle at the same time as Dixie on the same guitar.
Before his mentor Sholes died in 1968, Atkins had become vice president of RCA's country division. He had brought Waylon Jennings,Willie Nelson, Connie Smith, Bobby Bare, Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed and John Hartford to the label in the 1960s and inspired and helped countless others. He took a considerable risk during the mid-1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement sparked violence throughout the South by signing country music's first African-American singer Charley Pride, who sang rawer country than the smoother music Atkins had pioneered. But Atkins's hunch paid off. Ironically, some of Pride's biggest fans were from the most conservative country fans, many of whom didn't care for the pop stylings Atkins had added.
Atkins's own biggest hit single came in 1965, with "Yakety Axe," an adaptation of his friend saxophonist Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax". He rarely performed in those days, and eventually had to hire other RCA producers like Bob Ferguson and Felton Jarvis to alleviate his workload.
Atkins retires from producing
In the 1970s, Atkins became increasingly stressed by his executive duties. He produced fewer records but could still turn out hits such asPerry Como's pop hit "And I Love You So". He recorded extensively with close friend and fellow picker Jerry Reed, who'd become a hit artist in his own right. A 1973 bout of colon cancer, however, led Atkins to redefine his role at RCA, to allow others to handle administration while he went back to his first love, the guitar, often recording with Reed or even Homer & Jethro's Jethro Burns (Atkins's brother-in-law) after Homer died in 1971.
By the end of the 1970s, Atkins's time had passed as a producer. New executives at RCA had different ideas. He first retired from his position in the company, and then began to feel stifled as an artist because RCA would not let him branch out into jazz. At the same time he grew dissatisfied with the direction Gretsch (no longer family-owned) was going and withdrew his authorization for them to use his name and began designing guitars with Gibson. He left RCA in 1982 and signed with Columbia Records, for whom he produced a debut album in 1983.
While he was with Columbia, he showed his creativity and taste in jazz guitar, and in various other contexts. Jazz had always been a strong love of his, and often in his career he was criticized by "pure" country musicians for his jazz influences. He also said on many occasions that he did not like being called a "country guitarist", insisting that he was a guitarist, period. Although he played 'by ear' and was a masterful improviser he was able to read music and even performed some classical guitar pieces. When Roger C. Field, a friend, suggested to him in 1991 that he record and perform with a female singer he did so with Suzy Bogguss.
He did return to his country roots for albums he recorded with Mark Knopfler and Jerry Reed. Knopfler had long mentioned Atkins as one of his earliest influences, and the opportunity to perform with him was something of a surprise and treat to both guitarists of differing genres. He also collaborated with Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel. On being asked to name the ten most influential guitarists of the 20th century, he named Django Reinhardt to the first position on the list, and placed himself at fifth position.
In later years he even went back to radio, appearing on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio program, on PBS, even picking up a fiddle from time to time.
Atkins received numerous awards, including 14 Grammy Awards and nine Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year awards.In 1993 he was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Billboard magazine awarded him their Century Award, their "highest honor for distinguished creative achievement", in December 1997.
Atkins is notable for his broad influence. His love for numerous styles of music can be traced from his early recording of stride-pianistJames P. Johnson's "Johnson Rag," all the way to the rock stylings of Eric Johnson, an invited guest on Atkins' recording sessions who, when Chet attempted to copy his influential rocker "Cliffs of Dover," led to Atkins's creation of a unique arrangement of "Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)."
Chet's recordings of "Malaguena" inspired a new generation of Flamenco guitarists; the countless classical guitar selections peppering almost all his albums were, for many American artists working in the field today, the first classical guitar they ever heard. He could certainly play as jazzy or bluesy as he wanted, even recording smooth jazz guitar still played on American airwaves today.
While he did more performing in the 1990s his health grew frail as the cancer returned and worsened. He died on June 30, 2001 at his home in Nashville.
Atkins was quoted many times throughout his career, and of his own legacy he once said:
|"||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.||"|
A stretch of Interstate 185 in southwest Georgia (between LaGrange and Columbus) is named "Chet Atkins Parkway". This stretch of interstate runs through Fortson, GA where Atkins spent much of his childhood.
In 2002, Atkins was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His award was presented by Marty Stuart and Brian Setzer and accepted by Atkins' grandson, Jonathan Russell. The following year, Atkins ranked #28 in CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.
At the age of 13, jazz guitarist Earl Klugh was captivated watching Atkins' guitar playing on The Perry Como Show. Atkins also inspiredTommy Emmanuel.
Clint Black's album "Nothin' but the Taillights" includes the song "Ode to Chet," which includes the lines "'Cause I can win her over like Romeo did Juliet, if I can only show her I can almost pick that legato lick like Chet" and "It'll take more than Mel Bay 1, 2, & 3 if I'm ever gonna play like CGP." Atkins plays guitar on the track. At the end of the song Black and Atkins have a brief conversation.
- 1967 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1968 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1969 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1981 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1982 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1983 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1984 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1985 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1988 Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1971 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Jerry Reed - Me and Jerry
- 1972 Best Country Instrumental Performance - "Snowbird"
- 1975 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Merle Travis - The Atkins-Travis Traveling Show
- 1976 Best Country Instrumental Performance - "The Entertainer"
- 1977 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Les Paul - Chester and Lester
- 1982 Best Country Instrumental Performance - Country After All These Years
- 1986 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Mark Knopfler - "Cosmic Square Dance"
- 1991 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Mark Knopfler - "So Soft, Your Goodbye"
- 1991 Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Mark Knopfler - "Poor Boy Blues"
- 1993 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Jerry Reed - Sneakin' Around
- 1993 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award'
- 1994 Best Country Instrumental Performance with Asleep at the Wheel, Eldon Shamblin, Johnny Gimble, Marty Stuart, Reuben "Lucky Oceans" Gosfield & Vince Gill - "Red Wings"
- 1995 Best Country Instrumental Performance - "Young Thing"
- 1997 Best Country Instrumental Performance - "Jam Man"
- ^ a b Country Music Television biography. Accessed on March 28, 2008.
- ^ a b c d e f g Atkins, Chet and Neely, Bill. (1974). "Country Gentleman". Chicago. Harry Regnery Company. ISBN 0-8092-9051-0.
- ^ Atkins, Chet and Neely, Bill. (1974). "Country Gentleman". Chicago. Harry Regnery Company. ISBN 0-8092-9051-0. Pg 52.
- ^ Chet Atkins' Workshop, RCA Victor LSP-2232 liner notes. 1961. David Halberstam
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Atkins, Chet and Cochran, Russ. (2003). "Me and My Guitars". Milwaukee. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-634-05565-8.
- ^ Atkins, Chet and Neely, Bill. (1974). "Country Gentleman". Chicago. Harry Regnery Company. ISBN 0-8092-9051-0. Pg 61-62.
- ^ *Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- ^ ARRLWeb: 'Mister Guitar,' Chet Atkins, W4CGP, SK
- ^ a b c Rolling Stone Magazine. Accessed on March 28, 2008.
- ^ Allmusic entry for Welcome to My World, Jim Reeves 1996 box-set from Bear Family Records
- ^ Allmusic biography entry for Don Gibson
- ^ a b Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Accessed on March 28, 2008.
- ^ Official Web Site of Chet Atkins. Accessed on March 31, 2008.
- ^ Rolling Stone Chet Atkins biography. Accessed on May 10, 2008.
- ^ CNN Obituary, July 2, 2001. Accessed June 21, 2008
- ^ Chet Atkins Parkway bill resolution. Accessed June 5, 2008.
- ^ Performing Arts Center, Buffalo State University
- ^ Tommy Emmanuel official website biography. Retrieved September, 2009.
- Kienzle, Rich. (1998). "Chet Atkins". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 26–7.
- Allmusic Entry for Chet Atkins
- Chet Atkins Official Website
- Chet Atkins Fan Club
- Chet Atkins (Legacy Recordings)
- Bob Moore's A-Team Musicians Website
- Chet Atkins' Gravesite
- Chet Atkins Interview - Vintage Guitar Magazine - June 1996
- Chet Atkins keyboardist – Daryl Dybka
- Chet Atkins side man – Paul Yandell
Publicado por VRedondoF para MCyV el 10/08/2009 01:24:00 PM