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Chet Atkins

Legendary Gretsch Guitar Artist

Artist Bio

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.

“Few musicians have single-handedly defined a musical genre by virtue of their unparalleled instrumental technique,” said Fred Gretsch.  “Fewer still have gone on to transcend time, style, and genre to forever alter the course of popular music.  Chet Atkins is one of those few. Along with his profound influence on the modern electric guitar and those who play it, Chet was the architect of ‘The Nashville Sound,’ a new and distinctive approach to country music that vastly expanded its appeal around the world.”

The Gretsch Family shares a special connection to Chet.  Fred Gretsch’s uncle, Fred Gretsch Jr, first signed Chet as a Gretsch guitar artist in 1954.  Over his long association with the company, Chet was instrumental in the creation of the 6120 Nashville, Country Gentleman, and Tennessean signature guitars.  All three are bestsellers still today, but the Country Gentleman is particularly revered by guitarists—ironically because of its use by another guitar great:  George Harrison.  The legendary Beatle was a tremendous admirer of Chet, of his music, and of the guitars he designed.

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