Chet Atkins

Active - 1977 - 1995  |   Born - Jan 1, 1923   |   Died - Jun 30, 2001   |   Genres - Music, Drama, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

An influential guitarist, 14-time Grammy-winner, and the youngest person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Chet Atkins also played a key role in the Nashville music scene of the 1960s, producing slews of the most popular acts and serving as session musician for the likes of Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers.

Born in the poor hill country near Knoxville, TN, Atkins learned his way around the guitar while listening to music on a homemade radio kit and with a little tutelage from his classically trained Irish tenor father. Getting a job with a Knoxville radio station orchestra at the age of 17, Atkins soon signed with RCA Records and scored a few minor hits. Soon before he earned his reputation as a strong-arm studio session player, Atkins played at the Grand Ole Opry. Enduring studio efforts bearing Atkins' talented string work include: "Heartbreak Hotel," "Wake Up Little Susie," and "Bye Bye Love."

Producing some of the most popular names in country history and making frequent television appearances, Atkins became a household name and a well-respected musician whose work paved the way for the commercialization of country music years down the road. Surviving cancer in both 1973 and 1997, Atkins finally succumbed to illness in June of 2001. He was 77.

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