Chet Atkins CGP book

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby thenorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:42 pm

I received the CGP book from the Hall Of Fame venue on Chet today and highly recommend it as a companion to Me And My Guitars and Country Gentleman. It is full of photos and ‘paper’ … handbills and ads and even a check from Acuff Rose for 25.00, items that would have been impossible without Merle Atkins-Russell’s permission. Some of the photos are familiar and ones we’ve seen before but, surprisingly, most are not. There are examples of various correspondences in the book also. Some of the letters show that being a producer at RCA was not always an easy job but Chet himself was a model of dignity and honesty.

I gave it a quick read and only found two errors worth commenting on. (I know, I know… nitpicker…but I like to keep things straight…)

When it discusses the D’Angelico on page 55 it says that John D’Angelico cut the hole for and installed the Bigsby pickup on the guitar. From what I’ve read of Paul’s posts, the P-90 was first installed and the Bigsby pickup came later. In his biographies Chet said he, himself, did the hole making on the D’Angelico. I suppose it’s possible D’Angelico had installed the P-90 but the Bigsby pickup definitely came later and at least that one was installed by Chet.

The second error on page 60 is stating that the double bladed Super Tron pickup made its debut in 1964 when in fact he was using ithe prototype on his personal ’59 earlier than that, probably no later than 1960. The Super Tron made a brief appearance on double cut Country Gentlemans in 1964 but did not reappear on Gents until the 6122-59 came into being.

Other than those little flaws the book is beautifully done and chock full of fascinating memorabilia for those who can’t make it for the actual display.

Buy it! ... r-Player-/
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby bill raymond » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:43 pm

Thanks for posting this, Norm, and for including the link. I've ordered my copy. The book is reasonably priced, but the shipping and handling...
bill raymond
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby thenorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:28 pm

Yeah, wel... I can't afford to go to Nashville and see the exhibit and pick one of the books up. As I said, it's a good high-quality addition to anyone's Chet library...
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby craigdobbins » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:04 pm


What was so bad about the shipping and handling? It was $5.55 for me (Priority Mail).

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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby Nils » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:00 am

They wanted $12.20 to ship one to me here in Oregon. That seems a bit stiff, especially for a twenty dollar book. I'm guessing they'll be available next year at CAAS for the cover price. I think I'll wait. It will be one more thing to look forward to.
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby thenorm » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:46 am

Cost me a little over ten bucks to CA (priority mail) but since I'm not going to CAAS my options are limited but I like information this kind of thing provides.

In any case, it's there for those who are interested. No big deal if they don't want it. I don't have a dog in the fight/ I just posted a quick overview for those who might be curious about it. I thought it a worthwhile purchase.
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby Paul Yandell » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:10 am

Chet told me that when he ordered the D'Angelico, he asked John D to make the top braces wider than normal where he could put a pickup in it. At first, he put a P-90 in the neck position. There is a picture down at the Ryman Auditorium of Chet and the Carters and it plainly shows a P-90 in the neck position. If you'll look closely at the cover photo of the 45 LPs, the 45 with Alice Blue Gown in it, you can see the P-90. It's my guess that Chet put two P-90s at first in the guitar. Then changed the neck pickup to a Bigsby.

Paul y, CGP
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby Tom Workman » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:24 am

Paul, it's great seeing "CGP" after your name! -Tom W.
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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby thenorm » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:51 am

Paul, I have your comment on the D'Angelico pickup series (P-90 first, Bigsby pickup second) in my archive and that is what I based my critique of the book on. Chet also clearly states in both MAMG and Country Gentleman that he installed them himself. In any case, the two errors I cited were the only ones I caught on my first reading.

Sometimes I'll leave a little wiggle room in my comments because, after all, I'm depending on printed material for some of the comments I post and sometimes the writers get it wrong.

Those kinds of errors happen as time dims memories and article writers make guesses rather than do their homework. The problem is that those errors sometimes get accused of being facts. Stuff Paul has posted is based on personal experience and hands-on knowledge. I don't think he missed a thing when Chet altered any of his instruments. He gives us first hand memories from a very unique perspective.

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Re: Chet Atkins CGP book

Postby bill_h » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:57 am

I'm "unoficially" living in Nashville 3-4 days a month and went to the exhibit on Thursday. Saw a couple of billboards advertising the exhibit in and around the edge of town. It was definitely worth the $26.99 for parking and admission. ( Admission was not $20 but $19.99. Parkiong was a flat $7, not $6.99.)

One word of caution to anyone who may be going to the exhibit. The natural tendency when we get on elevators is to stand facing the door on the elevator expecting to go back out the same door we came in. The elevator that takes you to the Chet Exhibit opens at the other end when it gets to the 2nd floor. I was on the elevator by myself. Maybe being so anxious to see Chet honored was why it took me a little longer than it should have to realize that the elevator opens at both ends. ( I did have time to wonder how long that little fan I heard but couldn't see would supply breathing air.)

It was great seeing Chet honored! There was a dvd going at all times with footage of Chet and commenatry by CGP's John Knowles, Tommy Emmanuel, and Steve Wariner. I watched it twice. They even had Chet's workbench from his home studio set up with some of his tools, gadgets, etc. People from all walks of life wandered in and out while I was there. I'll definitely go again next month when I'm in Nashville if the exhibit's still there.

It's great to see CGP after Paul's name for sure and great to see you posting Paul!

I realize no one asked me but I think Merle did right by making Paul the last CGP. No one deserved the honor more than Paul! With Chet being the 1st CGP and Paul being the final one, it couldn't have ended any better!
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