7-CD Box (LP-size) with 112-page book, 214 tracks, playing time 513:35 minutes.
"I (had) promised myself I was going to be one of the greats, one of the really good guitar players, like Chet Atkins, when I was a kid,"
John Fogerty, from a 2004 interview
In a career that stretched over a half century, master guitarist Chet Atkins recorded nearly one hundred albums under his own name. Many consider the albums included here, made between 1955 and 1960, as his definitive work. Moving beyond traditional country, Chet Atkins created a vast new audience with 'Chet Atkins In Three Dimensions,' 'Stringin’ Along With Chet Atkins,' 'Finger-Style Guitar,' 'Hi-Fi In Focus' and 'Chet Atkins At Home.' They weren’t country albums, though they included country tunes. They weren’t jazz records, but they featured jazz and pop standards. They offered melodies by Bach, Brahms and Chopin, but they were hardly classical records. They included compositions by Ernesto Lecuona, but they’re not flamenco.
This seven-CD box also includes 'Mister Guitar,' 'Teensville,' 'Chet Atkins' Workshop' and his acoustic Spanish guitar set, 'The Other Chet Atkins.' Tracks from the orchestrated Living Stereo classic 'Chet Atkins In Hollywood' appear here in their original, superior 1958 versions. Many other numbers only appeared on singles or EPs, including tracks issued as 'The Rhythm Rockers Featuring Chet Atkins.' Sixteen RCA Victor masters and alternate takes here were previously unissued. Also included are tracks from two abandoned projects: My Brother Sings (featuring Jim Atkins on vocals) and an Elvis Presley tribute. Twenty SESAC recordings (never commercially available) and the 1959 'Hum And Strum' LP are also included.
This set is the summation of Chet Atkins' art. Budding and seasoned guitarists alike spent hours with these albums trying to unscramble Chet Atkins' technique. The list of musicians indebted to his groundbreaking virtuosity is enormous: Jerry Reed, Carl Perkins, Lenny Breau, George Harrison, Dave Edmunds, Mark Knopfler, Doc Watson, Scotty Moore, Marty Stuart, Richard Bennett,
Thom Bresh, Leo Kottke, Buster B. Jones, and countless others. The Ventures learned Walk Don’t Run from Atkins’ 1957 recording, included here. Other Chet Atkins staples include The Poor People Of Paris, In The Mood, Tiger Rag, Trambone, Blue Echo, Petite Waltz, Yankee Doodle Dixie, Jitterbug Waltz, Django’s Castle and the rhythmic Boo Boo Stick Beat, which is featured in two versions.
As a bonus, this set includes Chet Atkins' first-known solo recording (a 1945 demo acetate from WNOX, Knoxville), and all tracks from 'A Most Happy Fella,' a rare EP featuring Chet Atkins accompanying
Eddy Arnold on songs from Frank Loesser’s 1956 musical.
In a 112-page hardcover book, Rich Kienzle documents Chet Atkins' life and music during these years, including his parallel career as a producer who helped shape the emerging 'Nashville Sound.'