Well,Chet has been my musical company as long as I can think back to to the early teenage days in the 50th. Somehow he never got me real “high” - like dancing and shouting with the music - after all his music did not compete with R&R music. But he was THERE all the time. His guitar artistry grew more and more sophisticated . And when he got together with other artists - he was the one to take the lead. I think of some numbers accompanied by a Sitar ( with Harihar Rao - “January In Bombay “ ) or the album “Reminiscing” with Hank Snow ( Yes, he could play the guitar, too ! ). And then the epitomy of enjoyment for us R&R fans came when Mark Knopfler joined him for a session to record that extraordinary album “Neck And Neck”. . The duo Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins also produced great music - that kind of music you certainly won’t run into for a v e r y long time.
When Chet appeared on stage - not being able to play any more due to a stroke - I suffered. When he died in 2001 the whole “Guitar World” cried. Just look up his official site WWW.Misterguitar.comand you will get all the information you need.
Here a short summary of his musical life ( taken from various sites ):
Chet Atkins started his career in New York as the manager of RCA's Nashville division. in 1957 to act as head of pop A&R. However, he didn't abandon performing, and throughout the early '60s his star continued to rise. He played the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960; in 1961, he performed at the White House. Atkins had his first Top 5 hit in 1965 with a reworking of Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax," retitled "Yakety Axe;" The song crossed over to the pop charts. Atkins' role behind the scene was thriving as well. He produced hits for the majority of RCA's Nashville acts, including Elvis Presley and Eddy Arnold, and discovered a wealth of talent, including Don Gibson, Waylon Jennings, Floyd Cramer, Charley Pride, Bobby Bare, and Connie Smith. Because of his consistent track record, Atkins was promoted to vice-president of RCA's country division in 1968. The following year, Atkins had his last major hit single, "Country Gentleman." In the late '60s and early '70s, several minor hits followed, but only one song, "Prissy" (1968), made it into the Top 40.
In 1982, he with Columbia, releasing his first album for the label, Work It Out With Chet Atkins, in 1983. During his time at Columbia, Atkins departed from his traditional country roots, demonstrating that he was a bold and tasteful jazz guitarist as well. He did return to country on occasion, particularly on duet albums with Mark Knopfler and Jerry Reed. Throughout his career, Chet Atkins earned numerous awards, including 11 Grammy awards and nine CMA "Instrumentalist of the Year" honors, as well as "Lifetime Achievement Award" from NARAS.