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Chet Atkins

Humanitarian Award

Chet Atkins, born in June 20, 1924 in Luttrell, Tenn, grew up in Georgia. He left high school at 17 to become a radio station musician and moved on to become the world’s most universally known guitarist.

Chet has made 75 records of his own, and he developed a unique guitar style recognized world-wide. He has played with a variety of entertainers ranging from Les Paul and Hank Snow to Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

“But Chet Atkins would be a pivotal figure in the music world if he never made a record,” Høstfest president Chester Reiten said. He cited Chet Atkins’ work in designing guitars and recording studios.

Chet Atkins, as head of RCA’s Nashville studio, signed artists like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, worked on Elvis Presley’s biggest hits, and Perry Como’s lush ballads.

Chet Atkins’ appearances have ranged from the jazz festival in France to Carnegie Hall.

Nine Country Music Association awards, nine Grammys, four Playboy jazz titles and the Academy of Country Music pioneer award in 1982, show Atkins secure claim to his place in musical history.

Atkins died June 30, 2001.