Somewhere in heaven there’s bound to be a corner where Chet Atkins holds court, folded over his guitar with a lover’s absorption–for, as his brother-in-law, the legendary mandolinist Jethro Burns once told him, Chet, when the angels hear you sing, they’ll FIND you a guitar–
Speaking for myself, I always loved Chet’s little rangeless voice and his humor, both on full display in his disarming rendition of Ray Stevens’ “Frog Kissin'”.
Chet was born on June 20, 1924, in Luttrell, Tennessee, and from there, conquered the world of guitar. He once made a list of the most influential guitarists of all time for Irving Wallace in The Book of Lists; he placed Django Reinhardt at the top and himself, with commendable and characteristic modesty, in the middle of the pack.
Happy birthday, Chet. Damn, we miss you.