Chet Atkins – More Of That Guitar Country (1965)

LPFrontCover1Chester Burton Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001), known as “Mr. Guitar” and “The Country Gentleman”, was an American musician who, along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, helped create the Nashville sound, the country music style which expanded its appeal to adult pop music fans. He was primarily a guitarist, but he also played the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and ukulele, and occasionally sang.

Atkins’s signature picking style was inspired by Merle Travis. Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, Les Paul, and, later, Jerry Reed. His distinctive picking style and musicianship brought him admirers inside and outside the country scene, both in the United States and abroad. Atkins spent most of his career at RCA Victor and produced records for the Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Perry Como, Floyd Cramer, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, Roger Whittaker, and many others.

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Rolling Stone credited Atkins with inventing the “popwise ‘Nashville sound’ that rescued country music from a commercial slump” and ranked him number 21 on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Among many other honors, Atkins received 14 Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received nine Country Music Association awards for Instrumentalist of the Year. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. George Harrison was also inspired by Chet Atkins; early Beatles songs such as “All My Loving” show the influence.

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More of That Guitar Country is the twenty-seventh studio album by US country musician Chet Atkins. It is a follow-up to his Guitar Country release and was more successful. His rendition of “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph earned Atkins a hit on the country singles charts. A mix of traditional fingerpicking, country-flavored pop and traditional country, the album peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Country charts.

More of That Guitar Country and “Yakety Axe” were nominated for four 1965 Grammy awards but did not win any. (wikipedia)

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The followup album to Guitar Country, More of That Guitar Country spawned a bigger hit than anything on its predecessor — or anything in Chet Atkins’ long career for that matter. That tune was “Yakety Axe” — a retitled cover of Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax,” which itself was inspired by the Coasters’ “Yakety Yak” — a rapid-fire, barnyard-flavored tune that rose to number four on the country singles charts of 1965. As it happens, this was a deceptively flamboyant leadoff track for one of Atkins’ least-cluttered, mostly reined-in, and most musical albums of the mid-’60s, searching for good material wherever he can find it, even outside the cloistered world of Nashville. With a subdued intro as a temporary decoy, “Old Joe Clark” gets exactly the kind of fingerpicking, fingerbusting performance fans expect from this guitarist. The Johnny Cash hit “Understand Your Man” gets a neat, genteel, two-beat rendition that reminds one of its close resemblance to Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” — and Dylan himself is represented by an early (for Nashville) countrified cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Jerry Smith (piano) and Charlie McCoy (harmonica) are among the session regulars who keep the Nashville music machine running smoothly behind Atkins. (by Richard S. Ginell)

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Personnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Jerry Smith (piano)

An EP from France:
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Tracklist:
01. Yakety Axe (Randolph/Rich) 2.07
02. Back Up And Push (Traditional) 2.15
03. Cloudy And Cool (Loudermilk) 2.21
04. Alone And Forsaken (Williams) 2.43
05. Old Joe Clark (Traditional) 2.10
06. Catch The Wind (Leitch) 2.05
07. How’s The World Treating You (Atkins/Bryant) 2.42
08. Understand Your Man (Cash) 2.04
09. Letter Edged in Black (Traditional) 2.08
10. My Town (Atkins) 2.23
11. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 2.26
12. The Last Letter (Griffin) 2.25
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13. Travelin´ (Miller) 2.20

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A single from Germany:
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More from Chet Atkins:
More

The official website:
Website

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Various Artists – Country Giants Vol. 5 (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGThe artists performing on this album are amongst the all-time greats of country music, and between them they cover every style.

From the happy welcoming voice of Porter Wagoner to the deep emotive tones of Waylon Jennings, via the plaintive Skeeter Davis and the smooth Jim Reeves, not forgetting the brilliant guitar picking of Chet Atkins.

Country music at its very best represented by artists who are some of country music´s best ambassadors, as demonstrated by their visits to the United Kingdom.

The lovely Dottie West, a firm favourite at the Country Music Festival, Jerry Reid, who has a string of hitsto his credit as well as having written several hit songs for other artists; Don Gibson, who have besides having a fine voice, is also a well known songwriter, Dolly Parton, the beautiful lady of song, who in addition to her solo recordings, also duets with Porter Wagoner, and still finds time to compose.

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Finally, there is the immortal Jim Reeves, who became a legend in his life-time, but whose popularity still lives on nearly a decade after his tragic death.

This then, is your opportunity to hear some of the finest country songs ever written, as presented by the musical “giants” of country music, and happily this opportunity “knocks” more than once. (taken from the original liner notes)

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Tracklist:
01. Dottie West: You Ain’t Woman Enough (Lynn) 2.08
02. Porter Wagoner: Howdy Neighbour, Howdy (Morris) 2.11
03. Skeeter Davis: Little Arrows (Hazlewood/Hammond) 2.36
04. Jim Reeves: You’ll Never Be Mine Again (Reeves/Killen) 2.13
05. Waylon Jennings: Gentle On My Mind (Hartford) 3.04
06. Chet Atkins: Wheels (Petty) 2.29
07. Dolly Parton: Try Being Lonely (McCormick) 2.42
08. Waylon Jennings: Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town (Tillis) 2.13
09. Jim Reeves: Stand At Your Window (Carroll) 2.45
10. Don Gibson: I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson) 2.48
11. Jerry Reed: Oh What A Woman! (Hubbard) 3.05
12. Hank Snow: El Paso (Robbins) 4.35

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Chet Atkins – Down Home (1962)

FrontCover1Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.
After releasing the smooth pop and easy listening albums Chet Atkins’ Workshop and The Most Popular Guitar, Chet returned to his roots with Down Home. The album peaked at No. 31 and returned Atkins to the Top 40. It includes two of Chet’s signature tunes, “Windy and Warm” and “Trambone”. (by wikipedia)

After the commercial success of Chet Atkins’ 12th 12″ LP, Chet Atkins’ Workshop, which peaked in the pop Top Ten in 1961, RCA Victor Records decided to turn the country guitarist into an easy listening bandleader à la Ray Conniff on his next release, The Most Popular Guitar. But that LP didn’t come close to the sales of its predecessor, and after a holiday collection (Christmas With Chet Atkins) at the end of the year, RCA opted to let Atkins do what he wanted again. Hence, his 15th long-player, Down Home. The contrast from his previous secular release couldn’t have been more dramatic. The scantily clad lass with the come-hither smile on the cover of The Most Popular Guitar was replaced by a front-porch-swing shot of Atkins himself, guitar in hand, a vintage car in the background, and a faithful dog at his feet.

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And the strings that dominated The Most Popular Guitar were replaced by Atkins’ free-picking studio regulars, supporting him on a varied collection that never strayed far in the arrangements from an old-time country feeling, even when a saxophone intruded here and there. “Salty Dog Rag,” the leadoff track, was not the kind of material you’d have heard on The Most Popular Guitar, but it was no doubt closer to Atkins’ taste. The rest of the album, while mixing in a current movie theme (“Never on Sunday”) and a swing era classic (“Tuxedo Junction”), kept doubling back to country styles. And — what do you know? — Down Home outpolled The Most Popular Guitar by 88 places in the Billboard LP charts, returning him to the Top 40, which seemed to indicate that when you let Atkins do what he liked, his fans probably would like it too. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Morris Palmer (drums)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)
Velma Smith (guitar)
Henry Strzelecki (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Salty Dog Rag (Crows/Gordy) 2.11
02. I Am A Pilgrim (Travis) 3.07
03. Trambone (Atkins) 2.21
04. Steel Guitar Rag (McAuliffe) 2.04
05. Little Feet (Atkins) 2.32
06. Blue Steel Blues (Daffan) 2.21
07. Windy And Warm (Loudermilk) – 2:26
08. I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow (Atkins/Louvin) 2.37
09. Never On Sunday” (Manos Hadjidakis, Billy Towne) – 3:01    “The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish” (Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren) – 2:15    “Give the World a Smile” (Otis Deaton, Marshall Yandell) – 2:04    “Tuxedo Junction” (Buddy Feyne, Erskine Hawkins) – 2:07

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Chet Atkins – The Most Popular Guitar (1961)

FrontCover1Chet Atkins hit the jackpot with his 12th 12″ LP release, Chet Atkins’ Workshop, which soared into the pop Top Ten, and RCA Victor Records hopefully released his 13th one with the title The Most Popular Guitar and adorned it with a cover picture of a comely girl in a negligee. The notion here seems to have been to present Atkins not so much as a guitar instrumentalist (though his guitar playing was, as usual, front and center) as the leader of a lush studio orchestra and chorus playing easy listening favorites in the manner of Percy Faith.

The varied selections ranged from show tunes like the leadoff track, George and Ira Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess, to recent pop hits like the Platters’ “My Prayer” and swing era favorites such as “East of the Sun (West of the Moon).” But no matter the source, the treatment was in middle-of-the-road ballad form, with piano and harpsichord, muted horns, swirling strings, and wordless choruses augmenting Atkins’ dreamy electric-guitar stylings.

But perhaps Chet Atkins was not destined to become the next Ray Conniff. In any case, The Most Popular Guitar, despite spending ten weeks in the Billboard LP chart, did not match the sales of Chet Atkins’ Workshop, and the guitarist was free to go his own way, making whatever style of record he wanted in the future. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
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unknown orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Gershwin) 2.43
02. My Dear Little Sweetheart (Smith/Weiss) 2.48
03. Stay As Sweet As You Are (Gordon/Revel) 3.38
04. Monte Carlo Melody (Atkins) 2.30
05. When Day Is Done (DeSylva/Katscher) 2.20
06. My Prayer (Boulanger/Kennedy) 2.22
07. Rock-A-Bye-Bay (Curtis/Wood) 2.40
08. Vanessa (Wayne) 3.57
09. Intermezzo (Henning/Provost) 3.04
10. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo (Deutsch/Kaper) 2.40
11. East of the Sun (West Of The Moon) (Bowman) 2.38
12. Goin’ Home (Atkins) 2.53

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Chet Atkins – East Tennessee Christmas (1983)

frontcover1East Tennessee Christmas is a Christmas album by guitarist Chet Atkins, released in 1983. He had recorded a Christmas release previously for RCA 22 years earlier. He covers some of the same territory in this release but with a smoother production.

Writing for Allmusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote of the album “… an accomplished but unremarkable holiday effort. Much of the album sounds too slick, and the song selection is a little too predictable for its good, making the record itself sound like it is something Atkins had done before… the overall album makes little impression, and only dedicated Atkins fans will need to add this to their collection. (by wikipedia)

And here´s another opinion:

Christmas is the time in our family to pull out albums that bring back warm family memories. Each album is cozy and familiar as a favorite blanket and the smell of Christmas baking. Every once in awhile a new song will add itself to the list as a family classic (like Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in the Aire .) But, usually we stick to the family faves. Chet Atkin’s East Tennessee Christmas album is one of our standards. I have no idea when the vinyl was purchased (sometime in the 80’s) and by whom, but it is a lovely soothing Christmas album and has a place of honor with Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Montovani Christmas Carols. The instrumental songs are perfect background music for baking and opening presents and dinner parties. It is not ‘in your face’ or ‘sing along’ or ‘schmaltzy’ Christmas music. You can’t dance to it and it is not the cutesy-poo-gagsome stuff that a lot of holiday tunes have turned into. It is quiet, elegant, and simple steelstring guitar picking by Chet with the occasional background chorus and limited symphony accompaniment. It is calming and slightly sleepy without descending to elevator music.

My favorite tracks are the ones that show off the guitar stylings of Chet sans chorus, “Silent Night”, “Christmas Song” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.
The boys chorus in ‘Away in the Manger’ and “Little Drummer Boy” is unnecessary, but not wince-able. What I like most is that it is a melodious and unique spin on old favorites. And, let’s face it, who needs lyrics? We already know all of these songs by heart. (by Eclectico)

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Personnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
David Briggs (keyboards)
Randy Goodrum (keyboards, vocals)
David Lawbaugh (drums)
Larrie Londin (drums)
Tony Migliore (keyboards)
Farrell Morris (percussion)
Bergen White (keyboards, vocals)
Paul Yandell (guitar)
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vocals:
Diane Tidwell – Donna McElroy – Hurshel Wiginton – Lisa Silver – Mrs. Edwards “Kids” – Steve Wariner
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Nashville String Machine

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Tracklist:
01. Jingle Bell Rock (Beal/Boothe) 2.07
02. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.42
03. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 2.40
04. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 2.42
05. The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.10
06. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (K. Gannon/J.Gannon/Ram) 3.18
07. East Tennessee Christmas (Atkins) 2.47
08. Do You Hear What I Hear? (Regney/Baker) 3.24
09. The Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati) 3.08
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Traditional) 1.22
11. Silent Night (Mohr/Gruber) 2.04
12. Away In A Manger (Traditional) 2.01

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Chet Atkins – Stay Tuned (1985)

FrontCover1Stay Tuned is an album by Chet Atkins on his new label Columbia after recording for RCA since the 1950s. his guests include Larry Carlton, George Benson, Mark Knopfler, Steve Lukather, Earl Klugh, Boots Randolph, David Hungate, Dean Parks and Mark O’Connor.

“Cosmic Square Dance” won the 1985 Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance.

After decades of recording for RCA Victor, Atkins switched labels; this 1985 effort is a summit meeting of sorts with young guitar hotshots like Larry Carlton, George Benson, Mark Knopfler, Steve Lukather, and Earl Klugh, plus session A-teamers like Boots Randolph, Larrie Londin, David Hungate, Mark O’Connor and others. Atkins’ tone is, as usual, faultless, and his playing superb. If the “meetings” don’t always come off, it’s usually due to the overzealousness of the other guitar players (Lukather’s over-the-top style screams ’80s big hair, for instance), not Chet, whose playing always exercises the utmost in restraint in every situation. All in all, a good modern-day Chet Atkins album, but not the place to start a collection. (by Cub Koda)

ChetAtkinsGuitarPersonnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
George Benson (guitar)
Larry Carlton (guitar)
Paulinho Da Costa (percussion)
Darryl Dybka (keyboards)
Randy Goodrum (keyboards)
Mark Hammond (drums)
Jim Horn (horns)
David Hungate (bass)
Clayton Ivey (keyboards)
Shane Keister (keyboards)
Earl Klugh (guitar)
Mark Knopfler (guitar)
Larrie Londin (drums)
Steve Lukather (guitar)
Brent Mason (guitar)
Terry McMillan (percussion)
Mark O’Connor (fiddle)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Jeff Porcaro (drums)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)
Don Sheffield (horns)
Paul Yandell (guitar)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. Sunrise (Benson/Goodrum) 4.0
02. Please Stay Tuned (Atkins/Yandell) 4.01
03. Quiet Eyes (Russell) 3.33
04. A Mouse In The House (Moss) 3.52
05. Some Leather And Lace (Atkins/Yandell) 3.56
06. The Cricket Ballad (Dybka) 3.30
07. Cosmic Square Dance (Atkins/Knopfler/Yandell) 4.14
08. The Boot And The Stone (Dybka) 3.57
09. Tap Room (O´Connor/Ivey) 4.08
10. If I Should Lose You (Rainger/Robin) 1.26

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Chet Atkins – Christmas With Chet Atkins (1961)

FrontCover1One of the most underrated holiday platters of all-time, Christmas with Chet Atkins shows the father of country-rock guitar performing 16 holiday standards in his own incomparable style. Although the uptempo stuff such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland” are excellent readings, it’s in the slower-paced selections that Atkins really shines. His version of “Silver Bells” is, quite simply, one of the best versions of the standard ever, and possibly one of Atkins’ most arresting performances of all-time. Also excellent is the medley of “The Coventry Carol” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.” Overall, criminally underrated, this disc should be rated up there with such fodder as Charlie Brown Christmas. Gorgeous. (by Matthew Greenwald)

In other words:
I have loved Christmas with Chet Atkins since I was a kid- it has been a part of my christmas celebrations since the early 60s( the record was released in 1961). Imagine my delight in finding it on CD.The thing of it is, it’s not the same record. There are a number of differences between the CD and vinyl version; the songs “Little drummer boy”, “Silent Night” and “White Christmas” are alternate takes-not bad, just different. There is a noticeable “flutter” on “Jingle Bell Rock” and a few other tracks which makes me wonder whether the original master recording has been compromised in some way. This might also explain the use of alternate takes. Having said all that, Christmas with Chet Atkins is a woefully underrated record that continues to delight me over forty years after it was recorded. (Dan Penwarn)

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Personnel:
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BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Jingle Bell Rock (Boothe/Beal) 1.47
02. Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 2.42
03. Jolly Old St. Nicholas (Traditional) 2.11
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.18
05. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 2.50
06. Jingle Bells (Traditional) 1.47
07. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 2.05
08. Little Drummer Boy (Noel/Pelosi) 2.25
09. The Coventry Carol + God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Traditional) 3.23
10. The First Noel (Traditional) 1.42
11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn) 1.58
12. O’ Come All Ye Faithful (Traditional) 2.15
13. Deck The Halls (Traditional) 1.10
14. Silent Night (Gruber) 1.58

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