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Chet Atkins names the 10 most influential guitarists

#1 User is offline   onewilyfool 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:26 PM

Note that I am NOT on the list:

Chet names the century's most influential guitarists


Friday December 17, 1999
NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Chet was asked to name the 10 most influential guitarists of this century. Here is his list, which he amended Jan 8th, 2000 to include an eleventh guitarist:

Django Reinhardt (Chet said he would be number one on the list)

others in no particular order:
Charlie Christian
Eddie Lang
Merle Travis
Chet Atkins
Augustin Barrios
Les Paul
Wes Montgomery
Lenny Breau
Johnny Smith
Jimi Hendrix


I would have had to add Robert Johnson if that were my list....
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#2 User is offline   MissouriPicker 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 01:27 PM

Hey, wait a minute! Where's my name on this list?...........Oh, okay. I forgot. I'm on the other list---"The One Trillion Gazillion Most Influential Guitarists of The Century." Yeah, I knew I was on someone's list.

I guess Chet knew what he was talking about. Not too bad of a picker.
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#3 User is offline   drathbun 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 01:34 PM

Atkins is one of my all time favourite guitarists!


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#4 User is offline   Jack6849 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:13 PM

Chet really was too cool, wasn't he?... Amazing every time, and even when you thought you knew what you were gonna see, he was always a surprising treat. Thanks for the video!

And thank you again, Mr. Atkins, for reminding us one more time what it is to really finger-pick a guitar. Well, now I just HAVE to restring my White Falcon.... and I mean today!!!

Thanks a lot,
Jack6849

#5 User is offline   larryp58 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:33 PM

[quote name='Jack6849]Well' date=' now I just HAVE to restring my White Falcon...[/quote']


You have a White Falcon?!!!!! That is one guitar I've ALWAYS lusted after!!! [biggrin] I'm so envious! Without a doubt, the best looking hollow-body electric of all time!!!

#6 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:59 PM

Amen on Chet.


Now Jack -

Post us some pictures of your White Falcon!
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#7 User is offline   Jack6849 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:12 PM

I do have one, and I love it. I'm probably a bit unusual in that I wanted the Model G6136DS because I don't care for a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and I prefer the DynaSonic single-coil pickups over Filtertron Humbuckers.

So mine is the circa 1955 version with a single-cutaway and the Cadillac tailpiece. It's the second one I've owned. Years ago, I played in a 50s & 60s band that did a lot of Hot Rod Car Club shows and retro Record Hops. The White Falcon was plenty flashy enough for those, plus it stayed completely in tune, and it sounded great through my Victoria 310 "Bandmaster". (It also attracted a lot of attention from the car crowds...) My early influences included Chet and Merle Travis, so the Gretsch sound was a perfect fit for my fingerstyle playing. Both White Falcons had great necks. If you like Gretsch guitars, nothing feels just like one. The gold sparkle trim on the current ones is a bit "over the top gawdy", but it looks surprisingly cool under stage lighting.

My Gretsch White Falcon is completely different from my Gibsons, but it does occupy a cool spot in my collection, and on the stage. It is a very distinctive guitar in both sound and appearance. Thanks for asking....


Jack6849

I'll have to work on getting a picture taken and posted. I'm playing tonight so it'll probably be a couple of days. Thanks again for the interest.

#8 User is offline   dem00n 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:35 PM

Good to see Lenny Breau there.
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#9 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:19 PM

Looks like old Chet did not care much for the blues players - with the exception of Eddie Lang who would step into a bluesman shoes on ocassion as Blind Willie Dunn but was still better known as a jazz picker.
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#10 User is offline   spanishoaknc 

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:52 PM

Tommy Emmanuel from England is up their close to the Top Ten [mad] I would Think!
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#11 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 11:38 AM

[quote name='Jack6849] If you like Gretsch guitars' date=' nothing feels just like one.[/quote']

Amen, brother! I love me some Gretsch guitars as well! Here's a 61200 Setzer model I converted to a Gibson-style hardtail. Went in through the bridge pickup hole to install a maple block to support the tail piece studs. You are correct: nothing feels quite like a Gretsch neck, nor sounds like the Filtertron pickups.

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#12 User is offline   onewilyfool 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:36 PM

Quote

Tommy Emmanuel from England is up their close to the Top Ten [cool] I would Think!


I saw one interview where Chet said that Tommy was the best guitarist he'd ever seen. And he had seen a lot. But this list is only the most influential......each one of these guys changed the way guitar was played because of what they did.
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#13 User is offline   larryp58 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 01:16 PM

The Man and his White Falcon!!!

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#14 User is offline   albertjohn 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 01:37 PM

Quote

Tommy Emmanuel from England is up their close to the Top Ten :-({|= I would Think!


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#15 User is offline   onewilyfool 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:35 PM

Quote

TE is Australian.


It's all for the Queen and Commonwealth!!! Here here!!
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#16 User is offline   Jack6849 

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:07 PM

Here's a shot of my White Falcon. In the time since I became a member, I've posted three photos on this Forum, and each one has been embarrassingly bad. Sorry...

Anyway, this guitar is a single-cutaway "1955-style" Model G6136DS with Gretsch's Cadillac (non-bigsby) tailpiece and a pair of single-coil DynaSonic pickups. It is "flashy in the extreme"... but a real rocker ("Gawdy, gawdy, gawdy, Miss Clawdy") and I love it.

I've replaced the stock "Melita" bridge with a real Gibson ABR so I can mute notes with my right palm. I find the "Melita" design makes that technique virtually impossible.

Buc is exactly right. It's in the neck profile that Gretsch really found its unique place in the world of guitars. Their pickups, both the DeArmond-type single-coils and the later Filtertrons contributed greatly to the Gretsch sound. Add some flashy styling and a vibrato tailpiece (if you like them...) and you are there.

Chet Atkins really wanted a neck that was accessible and wide enough to get into, for finger-picking. This is it. Thanks for the interest, wish I was a better photographer.

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Jack6849

#17 User is offline   Daryl M 

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:10 AM

Chet was a class act. I had the chance to sit and chit-chat with him on a couple of occasions over the years. He was a really intelligent guy too. What he did from behind a desk here in Nashville had almost as much inpact as what he did behind a guitar.

#18 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 09:37 AM

While I agree Chet is a class act, his list is about as exciting as sliced Wonder Bread.
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#19 User is offline   bs 

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 06:09 PM

Far be it from me to dispute Chet Atkins. But:

The trouble with Top 10 lists is that it's an arbitrary number. Why 10? There may be 9 or 6 or 17 or 1,432 pickers whose influence is more or less equally widespread. It does seem to me that Chet's list is a little heavy on the jazz guys, and I'd have to agree that Robert Johnson belongs in there someplace.

And what about Maybelle Carter? She wasn't exactly a technical whiz like those on the list, but she pretty much single-handedly brought the guitar out of the rhythm section. Hillbillies need a little love, too.

I'd give a vote to Davey Graham as well, for simple virtuosity and for the impact he had on those who came after. British Invasion, anyone?

And I don't see how you can have any kind of list of great guitar players without Doc Watson.

Finally, what about the alt.tuning pioneers? The likes of John Fahey and Joni Mitchell at least deserve consideration.
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#20 User is offline   larryp58 

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 06:19 PM

Quote

Hillbillies need a little love, too.

And I don't see how you can have any kind of list of great guitar players without Doc Watson.



+100000 Couldn't of said it better myself!!!

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