Chet Atkins, Mr. Sandman, Mrs. Robinson

So one day, on a crummy radio in the 1940s, Chet Atkins was listening to Merle Travis play guitar.  He thought for sure that what Merle was doing was picking with his thumb and two fingers, because if he was just using his thumb and index finger, it would have been impossible.  It turned out Merle was just using his thumb and index finger, so what Chet accidentally did was invent his own style of guitar playing known as the “Atkins Style.”  Chet was a massively influential and beautiful guitar player who did everything from jazz, folk, country, rock, blues, and even classical.   I have two gorgeous clips of Chet.  One is from 1954, in color no less, of a TV performance he did of “Mr. Sandman,” the song that defines 50s dreaminess.  The other is probably 25 years later or so of him doing Simon and Garfunkel’s immortal “Mrs. Robinson,” all as a stunning guitar solo.  To appreciate Chet, is to appreciate the artistry of the true guitar virtuoso.  His timing, feel, and fluidity are second to none, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the work of a master.

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