如果乡村音乐对你起不了什么作用, 或者不是个老音乐迷, 那你大概没机会认识 Chet Atkins 。作为一个著名的吉它演奏者，歌手，录音，唱片制作大师，Chet Atkins被昵称为 吉他先生 ，绅士吉他手，1924年生于Tennessee,其祖父是一乡村小提琴手，父亲是一钢琴教师，母亲也喜欢弹钢琴和唱歌。Che atkins哥哥也是一吉他手。 在50、60年代摇滚乐对乡村音乐造成冲击时，他对乡村音乐进行了改造，采用了折中的方法减少乡村味，增加流行的元素，创造了Nashville sound，挽救了垂危的乡村音乐。作为一个吉他手，Atkins的成就也是无人能及，他发展了Merle Travis的弹奏风格，使用拇指击打低音弦，他使这种弹奏法成为了乡村吉他演奏的标准。
1953 年, RCA 聘请 Chet 掌管公司在 Nashville 艺人的录音工作, 这个工作包括了乐器弹奏,录音, 编曲,制作, 伴奏,还有发掘新人, 完全掌控了整个 Nashville 的音乐走向.看看他为之操刀的艺人：Elvis Presley, Kitty Wells, The Everly Brothers, Hank Williams,Andy williams……再看看他发掘的新人：Jim Reeves, Don Gibson, Dolly Parton,, Floyd Cramer, Charley Pride, Bobby Bare, a nd Connie Smith，Dottie West, Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Charley Pride 、Eddy Arnold。
70 年代， Chet 成为了 RCA 的副总裁。1982他自身兴趣转向jazz,想录制一些个人的jazz专辑，但因RCA反对，因此他离开了RCA,转签Cloumbia了。Chet atkins出了大概75張个人作品, 获14 座 Grammy, 而且在 1973 年成为有史以來最年轻(49岁) 进入乡村名人堂的.艺人。现在，如果你去Nashville的街头，那里有一尊纪念他铜像 乡村乐坛吉他传奇英雄Chet Atkins(却特亚金斯)，在与癌症抗争多年后，2001年6月30日病逝于乡村音乐之都-Nashville，享年七十七岁。Atkins曾在73、97年分别战胜结肠癌与脑癌，告别式将于七月三日于Grand Old Opry旧址Ryman大会堂举行。 1924年6月20日生于田纳西州Luttrell的Chet Atkins曾在猫王、Everly Brothers等人的畅销曲担任伴奏乐手，也是Dolly Parton(桃莉芭顿)、Roy orbison歌唱事业的幕后英雄。Atkins是乡村界最忙碌的录音室乐手，吉他才情曾分别在Hank Williams的Jambalaya、Your Cheatin’’ Heart、；Everly Brothers的Bye Bye Love、Wake Up Little Susie、All I Have To Do Is Dream中表露无遗。Atkins的合作名单上有Willie Nelson(威利尼尔森)、Eddy Arnold、Perry Como等人。
近些年来，乡村吉他大师Chet Atkins同众多的其他音乐领域的吉他演奏家和音乐家频频合作，制作出不少令人津津乐道的作品，也让人充分体会到廉颇未老，宝刀尚利 的风范。Chet Atkins的吉他演奏的细腻和微妙，经常是在几个音符之间就能充分体现出来的一种深度功力，虽然归类于乡村音乐，但是就像当年的Les Paul一样，他的跨界能力和简约处理的风格，不啻于任何一个经典的吉他演奏家。
Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the 50s and 60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the 50s and 60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks.
And as a guitarist, he was without parallel. Atkins style grew out of his admiration for Merle Travis, expanding Travis signature syncopated thumb and fingers roll into new territory. Interestingly, Atkins didnt begin his musical career by playing guitar. On the recommendation of his older brother, Lowell, he began playing the fiddle at a child. However, Chet was still attracted to the guitar, and at the age of nine he traded a pistol for a guitar. Atkins learned his instrument rapidly, becoming an accomplished player by the time he left high school in 1941. Using a variety of contacts, he wound up performing on the Bill Carlisle Show on WNOX in Knoxville, TN, as well as becoming part of the Dixie Swingers. Atkins worked with Homer & Jethro while he was at the radio station. After three years, he moved to a radio station in Cincinnati.
Supporting Red Foley, Atkins made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1946. That same year, he made his first records, recording for Bullet. Atkins also began making regular performances on the WRVA radio station in Richmond, VA, but he was repeatedly fired because his musical arrangements differed from the expectations of the stations executives. He eventually moved to Springfield, MO, working for the KWTO station. A tape of one of Atkins performances was sent to RCA Victors office in Chicago. Eventually, it worked its way to Steve Sholes, the head of country music at RCA. Sholes had heard Atkins previously, and had been trying to find him for several years. By the time Sholes heard the tape, Atkins had moved to Denver, and was playing with Shorty Thompson & His Rangers. Upon receiving the call from RCA, he moved to Nashville to record.
Once he arrived in Nashville, Atkins recorded eight tracks for the label, five of which featured the guitarist singing. Impressed by his playing, Sholes made Atkins the studio guitarist for all of the RCA studios Nashville sessions in 1949. The following year, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters hired him as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry, making his place in Nashvilles musical community secure. While he worked for RCA, he played on many hit records and helped fashion the Nashville sound. RCA appreciated his work and made him a consultant to the companys Nashville division in 1953. That year, the label began to issue a number of instrumental albums that showcased Atkins considerable talents. Two years later, he scored his first hit with a version of Mr. Sandman; it was followed by Silver Bell, a duet with Hank Snow. By the late 50s, Atkins was known throughout the music industry as a first-rate player. Not only did his records sell well, he designed guitars for Gibson and Gretsch; the popularity of these models continues to the present day.
Sholes left for New York in 1957 to act as head of pop A&R, leaving Atkins as the manager of RCAs Nashville division. However, the guitarist didnt 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 Five hit in 1965 with a reworking of Boots Randolphs Yakety Sax, retitled Yakety Axe; in addition to being a sizable country hit, the song crossed over to the pop charts. Atkins role behind the scenes was thriving as well. He produced hits for the majority of RCAs 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 RCAs country division when Sholes died 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. Instead, the guitarists major musical contribution in the early part of the 70s was with Homer & Jethro. Under the name the Nashville String Band, the trio released five albums between 1970 and 1972. Following Homers death, Atkins continued to work with Jethro.
Atkins continued to record for RCA throughout the 70s, although he was creatively stifled by the label by the end of the decade. The guitarist wanted to record a jazz album, but he was met with resistance by the label. In 1982, he left the label and signed 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, but by and large, Atkins Columbia records demonstrated a more adventurous guitarist than was previously captured on his RCA albums.
Sadly, Atkins was diagnosed with cancer, and in 1997 doctors removed a tumor from his brain. In his last months, the cancer had made Atkins inactive, and he finally lost the battle on June 30, 2001, at his home in Nashville. Throughout his career, Chet Atkins earned numerous awards, including 11 Grammy awards and nine CMA Instrumentalist of the Year honors, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from NARAS. Although his award list is impressive, it only begins to convey his contribution to country music.