Personalities | Chet Atkins | Fifties | Rock

(Guitar, producer, 1924–2001)

Tennessee-born Chester Burton Atkins, whose father was a music teacher, was one of the most influential twentieth-century guitarists, and was initially influenced by the finger- and thumb-picking country-style playing of Merle Travis. Signed to RCA from 1947, he made scores of mainly instrumental albums, and in 1955 became the head of RCA’s new Nashville studio, producing artists signed to the label, and working with numerous country artists including Don Gibson, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves. He also produced for pop artists such as Perry Como, and was recognized by Gretsch guitars, who named their Chet Atkins Country Gentleman model after him. One of his most significant signings to RCA was successful black country singer Charley Pride, as few black acts were tolerated in Nashville. Atkins also made duet albums with notable pickers like Les Paul, Jerry Reed and Mark Knopfler (1992’s Neck And Neck).

Styles & Forms | Fifties | Rock
Personalities | Frankie Avalon | Fifties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.