At a 2012 tribute concert honoring guitar great Chet Atkins, friends, family, and flame-keepers of his sound gather to spotlight and celebrate the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s enduring contributions to country music history.
John Knowles, whom Atkins honored with the C.G.P. (“Certified Guitar Picker”) award, hosts the “Friends and Flame Keepers” concert, featuring performers Megan Taylor Anderson, Muriel Anderson, Thom Bresh (son of another innovative fingerpicker, Merle Travis), Guy Van Duser, Ben Hall, Brooks Robertson, and Joe Robinson.
Along with live songs, the “Friends and Flame Keepers” performers share memories of learning Atkins’s style and lighthearted stories about Atkins the man, producer, student, and teacher.
John Knowles performs “The Entertainer,” which won Atkins the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1975, and the Hollies hit “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Guy Van Duser plays “Windy and Warm,” which he painstakingly mastered as a teenager after watching Atkins perform it on “The Jimmy Dean Show.” Muriel Anderson, the first woman to win the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, offers “Nola” (her introduction to Atkins) on harp-guitar, and showcases her artful twist on cascading harmonics with “View From Space.”
Other performances include Taylor Anderson on “Maybelle,” Ben Hall’s ragtime-inspired versions of “Hello, Ma Baby,” “Whispering,” and “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Girl),” Robinson with “Royal Flush” and “Skyline,” Bresh’s self-penned, Atkins-inspired “Vermillion,” and more.
All of the musicians gather at the end of the show for a rendition of Atkins’s “Happy Again.”
Presented in support of the exhibition “Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player” (August 12, 2011 through July 15, 2012), made possible by the Gretsch Company.
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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