Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Doug Working » Wed May 08, 2019 4:29 pm

Great article, here. Don't know if you guys have read it before, but it says previously unpublished, so there's a chance it will be new to some. Sure was to me: https://reverb.com/news/chet-atkins-dis ... ns-archive
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Von » Sun May 19, 2019 10:27 pm

Chet used this special, one-of-a-kind instrument on his ground breaking 1956 album, "Finger-Style Guitar". Wired with two output jacks, the signal from the bass strings would run through the echo input on his amplifier while the treble strings were fed dry through the normal channel.
Though at the time the concept of a "stereo" guitar was a brilliant idea, it was deemed impractical as the cost to produce it put it out of reach of the general buying public. The project was shelved.
IMHO-- Best guitar made by Grestch
Chet's Stereo guitar.jpeg


Chet's actual performance "I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles" Thumb & Fingers Isolated
Chet’s Thumb>
Bubbles_mixdown_1.mp3
(1.48 MiB) Downloaded 62 times


Chet’s Fingers>
Bubbles right_mixdown.mp3
(1.48 MiB) Downloaded 60 times
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Doug Working » Wed May 22, 2019 3:50 pm

That was totally awesome! How the heck did you do that???
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Von » Wed May 22, 2019 10:17 pm

Thanks, Doug

Using the song on a cd in stereo, you can pan hard left and pan hard right to record separate tracks off of your computer.

You are hearing both L&R tracks played simultaneously when you listen to Chet on a record or cd. That is what they called living stereo back in the day. Unfortunately there is no way to listen to Chet’s guitar by itself in a recording.

IMHO this unique guitar sound and style left the greatest impression and impact on the world back in the 50s.

I’m not sure?…was "Finger Style Guitar" album Chet’s biggest seller ever? And the cover was this guitar? Not sure.

Here’s Chet playing in living stereo as we all heard it growing up.

I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles Left & Right together by Chet mp3

19 I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles.mp3
(1.48 MiB) Downloaded 26 times
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby headgremlin » Thu May 23, 2019 8:53 am

Just a point made. The song "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" was from the "Mister Guitar" LSP-2103 album, not "Finger-Style Guitar". The Mister Guitar album had the songs recorded bass strings on the left and the treble strings on the right. The stereo issue really sounded great. I know it is just a minor detail, but to keep people from looking for this song on the wrong album, I thought I would make the correction.

Jere
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby LMark » Thu May 23, 2019 12:56 pm

"Bubbles" was recorded in 1958 and released first on Mister Guitar and finally on My Brother Sings much much later. Some story there. LMark * See: https://www.discogs.com/Chet-Atkins-My- ... se/6913249 P.S. Curiously, Chet is holding a '58 CG with brass nut, not the stereo 6120. Something like the '58 in black is also on the album Guitar Genius, as I recall. (I'm not disputing the claim that Chet used the stereo instrument on the album.)
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Doug Working » Thu May 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Did he use the same set up on "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart?"

https://youtu.be/Wly2wCsppLs
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby LMark » Thu May 23, 2019 5:49 pm

Doug, I do not possess a copy of of the album My Brother Sings, on which "Zing" appears. I seem to recall reading that all the cuts on that album were recorded in a brief period, perhaps a single session. I believe that Pat Kirtley did the liner notes for the recent release; he seems to be the historian of note for this album. Perhaps Pat would weigh in here. I don't know if he monitors this board. Maybe someone with connections could coax him to weigh in. LMark
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Von » Thu May 23, 2019 7:23 pm

Writing for Allmusic, music critic Bruce Eder wrote of the album
"The Guitar Genius is one strange album—good, but strange—beginning with its title.
Of course there's plenty of guitar here, but there's also a surprising number of pieces that rely on vocals... this album is somewhat of a very mixed stylistic bag..."

MyBrotherSingsChetAtkins.jpg
MyBrotherSingsChetAtkins.jpg (21.37 KiB) Viewed 341 times


My Brother Sings track listing

Side one
"Swanee River" (Stephen Foster) – 1:41
"Country Style" (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen)
"Out of Nowhere" ( Johnny Green, Edward Heyman) – 3:02
"Slinky" (Chet Atkins)
"In Apple Blossom Time" (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson) – 2:11
"Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart" (James F. Hanley)

Side two
"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (John Kellette, James Kendis, James Brockman, Nat Vincent)
"Asleep In The Deep" (Arthur J. Lamb, Henry W. Petrie)
"My Funny Valentine" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
"When Day Is Done" (Buddy DeSylva, Robert Katscher [de]) – 2:30
"Even Tho'" (Willie Jones, Webb Pierce) – 3:18
"I Know That You Know" (Anne Caldwell, Vincent Youmans)

Personnel
Chet Atkins – guitar
Jim Atkins – vocals on "Swannee River", "Blackjack", "Out of Nowhere", "When Day is Done", "Even Tho'"
Bob Moore – bass
Floyd Cramer – piano
Chet Atkins - The Guitar Genius
Release History

R-2215257-1490302141-1685.jpeg.jpeg
R-2215257-1490302141-1685.jpeg.jpeg (28.73 KiB) Viewed 341 times


Side one
"Heartbreak Hotel" (Tommy Durden, Mae Boren Axton, Elvis Presley) – 2:28
"Swanee River" (Stephen Foster) – 1:41
"Blackjack" (John D. Loudermilk) – 2:27
"I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time" (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson) – 2:11
"Daar's 'N Wind Wat Waat" (Nico Carstens) – 2:28

Side two
"It's Now or Never" (Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder, Eduardo di Capua) – 2:05
"Out of Nowhere" ( Johnny Green, Edward Heyman) – 3:02
"Hidden Charm" (Willie Dixon, James Rich) – 2:32
"Even Tho'" (Willie Jones, Webb Pierce) – 3:18
"When Day Is Done" (Buddy DeSylva, Robert Katscher [de]) – 2:30

In 1958, Atkins decided to record an album with his brother Jim, once a vocalist in the Les Paul Trio and for Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. The album was recorded July 24 and August 29, 1958 in Nashville and was to be called My Brother Sings. It was completed, printed and pressed before being pulled from distribution for unknown reasons. All copies of the album were to be destroyed. Four of the instrumentals that were recorded appeared on the Atkins' 1959 album Mister Guitar. Five of Jim Atkins' vocal tracks were released on The Guitar Genius on the budget label Camden in 1963. Rare copies of the original album were discovered in the hands of collectors. The backing band was credited as The Rhythm Rockers, which consisted of session musicians Bob Moore, Floyd Cramerand Buddy Harman. In 1963, five of the Jim Atkins vocal tracks were issued along with five instrumentals by Chet. In 2015, My Brother Sings was released by Sundazed Records after the location of the original tapes and remastering.


Von
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Re: Chet Discusses His Relatiinship With Gretsch

Postby Doug Working » Fri May 24, 2019 4:50 pm

I have to admit, you guys got me there. I had not heard of the first issue of the album under the title "My Brother Sings." My upload was from "Guitar Genius." which is the version I own.

I have to say there are indeed some Chet albums that have unusual histories. Like the Hollywood album, recorded in tw versions, with different gauge strings on each one.

One thing for sure: Jim sure could sing! That rich baritone is right up there next to Jim Reeves in beauty and richness of tone.
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