Hank's 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gent (Serial #35157)

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Re: Hank's 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gent (Serial #35

Postby alturnertive_music » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:29 pm

Great story, Doug. Thanks for sharing it. You were lucky to have been in that situation.

So, you . knew Richard when he was a youngster. Awesome.. So, do you think he spent a lot of time practicing, or do you think his talent was more divine intervention?


Thank you for your message Palmer.

Jim Bean (the President of the British Chet Atkins Society) and myself made several social visits to Doug Smith's home in the early days. Richard, who was around 10 or 11 years old at the time, would always join in playing guitar with myslef and Jim, we always did our best to encourage him.

When Richard was 11, Doug asked if he could film me playing my repertoire which was over 2 hours long and was all Chet Atkins tunes that I'd learnt from Chet's records by ear, although several were my own arrangements. This film included many of Chet's most difficult tunes such as Little Rock Getaway, Petite Waltz, Arkansas Traveler, Oh By Jingo, Tiger Rag, Black Mountain Rag and others. On this film I recorded several of my own arrangements, one of which was Moonglow which Richard recorded quite a few years later to which he added his own improvising to.

Doug bought in a film crew and there were a lot of members of the Chet Atkins Guitar Society present along with Jim, his wife and son. I remember three guys taking quite a while to set up the cameras and lighting equipment on the day. I was quite surprised at the time with so many people being involved in the filming and there to watch. After filming that evening, Dougs wife had prepared a BBQ for everybody.

Several days ago I spoke with Jim Bean's wife about this evening, she remembered it well, it was quite an event.

It's great to see Richard Smith go on to much success with the guitar, I'd like to think that the film we made that evening had something to do with it!

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