Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

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Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby George Beasley » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:46 pm

On the Jerry Byrd album, "Admiral Byrd", Chet wrote this in the album notes:

"Since Jerry has offered me this space to say anything I'd like, I'll sketch a pet story of mine for you.

The average young musician begins his career with a head full of high ideals; he tells himself, and everybody around who'll listen, about his determination to play only what he honestly believes in.

By his third or fourth day of working for the public, he has discovered it's probably going to be just a little tougher than he imagined to reeducate the whole world to entirely agree with his own personal tastes. And then, not more than a week passes until he has become a 100% realist who sees that he'd better hurry and get with the popular trend of the day if he's going to be able to survive in the business at all.

Now, there are two ways to react to such an unfortunately true story: (1) you can shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well, I guess thats life", or (2) you can join me in paying tribute to the remarkable individualism represented by Jerry Byrd a rare bird in the modern menagerie of musicians, because he has gone against the odds to prove a man can hold fast to his ideals and still have immensely successful career.

My association with Jerry dates back to a 1947 recording in Atlanta's old Fox theatre. Later, in the Fifties, we shared a three-year experience I'll look back upon gratefully for years to come, playing together five afternoons a week on a WSM radio series called "Two Guitars". From that close relationship I learned there are no shortcuts, no compromises in Jerry's approach to his music, and he has within him no tolerance whatever for the sort of entertainment which must be classed as "musical noise". Combine these ideals with the gift of perfect intonation and you've got yourself an exceptional steel guitarist.

Seven of this fine collection of instrumentals were written by Jerry, especially for this album, and steel guitar fans will be surprised to find that all but three are played in the old E7th tuning*, a new experiment and a new sound for Jerry Byrd.

I know there must be a much more sophisticated phrase to describe the kind of thing Jerry plays, but to me it's simply Pretty Music. Unquestionably some of the prettiest music on the steel or any other instrument. Jerry is interested in no other kind. I wish the same could be said of everyone who plays and everyone who listens.
Chet Atkins "

Does anyone know if any of the "Two Guitars" radio program were recorded? I read on the Steel Guitar Forum that Jerry said there weren't any recorded.....but rarer things have turned up in the past.

Thanks
George

*(Chet was misquoted or in error: the tuning was E9th)
Last edited by George Beasley on Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Thanks,
George
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby GaryL » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:02 pm

George,
Unfortuneately, I can't answer your question and I like what you posted. Some very nice comments from Chet I've never read before. Now I need to find that album.
GaryL
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby PhilHunt » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:49 am

I have a cd of the Two Guitars Radio programs with Chet and Jerry Byrd.
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby Norm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:35 am

I read somewhere years ago that Jerry did not want the recordings for the afternoon radio shows kept and asked they be destroyed. Probably the perfectionist in him not wanting mistakes recorded to haunt him.

Some of those shows of course did survive. How and by who is not known.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby Norm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:44 am

George... a question about your correction
*(Chet was misquoted or in error: the tuning was E9th)

I think Jerry played a straight, non-pedal steel. Seems to me the E9 tuning was designed for pedal steel. It would, of course, depend on when Chet wrote those (remarkably wise) liner notes but he did cite the tuning as "old E7 tuning" which I think may have been one of the standard tunings during the hawaiian music craze of the thirties.

Just wondering...
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby Richard Hudson » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:52 am

Chet was very generous with his compliments to Jerry Byrd, whom he obviously felt a strong kinship and respect. I always enjoyed listening to Chet talk and reading what he wrote as well as listening to him play. Just more to add to the fact that we all know that there will never be another Chet.

Edited to pass on my thanks to George for the post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it through.
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby George Beasley » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:01 am

That correction came from Jerry himself (by way of a posting by his brother on the Steel Forum).
Thanks,
George
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby Norm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:23 am

Thanks.

Good to know. Those guys at the steel guitar forum really know their stuff.

Wasn't looking for a fight. Just wanted to be sure the wording was right. I save things like that for reposting elsewhere in the future so the basic wisdom can be shared. I like to keep things accurate because there are a lot of mistakes and bad stats loose on the internet that will be there forever.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: redwood city ca

Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby John McClellan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:21 pm

I met someone at CAAS several
years ago who told they recorded many of the radio shows on their reel to reel when they were Kids.
I have made extensive inquiries into releasing the "Just Guitars" shows on CD. Sadly,
I found out via Harold Bradley when some younger west coast executives came to WSM in the 1980s, the archival recordings were all destroyed, they were deemed as old junk.

John
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Re: Chet and Jerry Byrd: Two Guitars

Postby George Beasley » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Phil,

Where did you get the cd? Is it still in print?
thanks,

George
Thanks,
George
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