This listing is for Chet Atkins - A Life in Music DVD.
Actors: Chet Atkins, George Benson, Amy Grant, Waylon Jennings, Les Paul
Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR - Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
DVD Release Date: July 3, 2001
Run Time: 44 minutes
Chet Atkins is a true American music icon. He is the most recorded instrumentalist in history and has been awarded 13 Grammys. From humble beginnings in the hills of Tennessee and through the ups and downs of a career that revolutionalized country music and helped shape rock and roll, the incredible life of Chet Atkins is chronicled through original interviews, archival footage and performances. Guests include Dolly Parton, Mark Knopfler, Les Paul, John Fogerty, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Suzy Bogguss, George Benson, Waylon Jennings, Charley Pride, and Peter Frampton.
This is 44 minutes of pure joy. As a tribute to guitar master Chet Atkins, it's too short by half, but this TNN documentary (originally broadcast nearly 10 months before Atkins died at age 77 in June 2001) succeeds as both a concise chronology of Atkins's career and a loving valentine from the great musicians who benefited from Atkins's mentorship, collaboration, and shared love of music. Every testimony is genuinely sincere, just like Atkins was, and gracefully balanced with Chet's own picking (as astonishing as ever), interview clips, and fond reminiscences of his early days as a Tennessee performer. Appropriate emphasis is given to Atkins's career as a celebrated producer and talent scout, and while Dolly Parton, George Benson, and Suzy Bogguss explain how Atkins supported their careers, other veterans like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Les Paul describe Atkins's crucial influence in the creation and development of "the Nashville Sound."
All of the interviewees are exceptionally well-chosen, ranging from country legends like June Carter Cash to contemporary guitar heroes like Mark Knopfler (who championed Atkins on their bestselling duo recordings), Steve Howe (from Yes), Peter Frampton, and Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, who dedicates his own unique career to promoting Atkins's legacy. Archival clips show Atkins perfecting his amazing ability to play two melodies at once, providing a rich survey of his mastery throughout six decades of multiple musical styles. At one point, Dolly Parton affectionately praises Atkins for "spreading gold dust around the world," and this splendid show offers ample proof that Atkins's gold will shine forever.
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