My first classical guitar tape that I listened to was from Chet Aktins and that was like 35 yrs ago. Yes, it was that long and I remembered that he was using a Gretsch to play on tv one year during Christmas. I was so obsessed with him, I went out to buy a tape to listen to every day. And it was probably because of Chet Akins , that I took up guitar lessons from a church friend and wanted to play the guitar too.
Died at the age of 77, Chet Atkins received numerous awards, from Grammies to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame and Musician Hall of Fame. Born in Tennessee , started out with a ukelele and traded his brother for a guitar and some chore’s money. Playing the guitar was a comfort to him at first because of his illness, he had asthma. At that time, having asthma was a big deal and many a times, he was found fast asleep in his chair and his guitar on top of him.
Chet Atkins did not become famous immediately, in fact it was because he played in his school charity concerts that got people talking about him and his talent. When Atkins dropped out of high school, he landed himself a job at the radio station. He played the guitar as well as fiddle for Bill Carlisle and became a member with a swing instrumental combo. Chet Akins later not only became a musician but was a producer as well. He made his own records in his own home studio and would retune the recording till he thinks they are perfect. While he didn’t have any particular style when he started playing the guitar, other musician gradually came to admire him for his unique ideas.