Lowell Atkins

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Lowell Atkins

Postby bill_h » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Last time I was at the Chet Exhibit I noticed at the bottom of a plaque/poster kind of thing that Lowell was referred to as a half brother. I always thought Lowell was a full brother. Am I mistaken?

As nearly as I can remember the plaque had something to do with the family band that Chet was a member of at some point in his childhood. To quote the text as nearly as I can remember it said "Niona, Lowell - half brother, and Strivel. ( I do have a photographic memory but the film's not always reliable :lol: .)

I know Chet mentioned a musical step father named Strivel once when he was on a talk show. I'm assuming that Niona was a step sister and the Strivel mentioned without a first name was either Chet's musical step father or a step sibling.

Am I mistaken about Lowell not being a half brother and does anyone know who the un-named Strivel is?
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby Norm » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:05 pm

Willie Strevel married Ida Sharp Atkins after she and James Arley divorced
Quoting "Country Gentleman"

"My half brother Jim, my brother Lowell, my half sister Willard and my Sister Niona"



His dad was married five times, his mother three so, well, not much to do in those mountains I guess...

Mom and Willie produced Billie Rose. Half sister

Willie is apparently the guy Chet swapped with to get his first guitar. Willie liked to drink and they would tune the guitar to a chord and play "Rabbit In a Log" songs on it.
...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: Lowell Atkins

Postby bill_h » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:44 pm

Thanks Norm. If you don't mind me asking, is Country Gentleman your source for Billie Rose and Chet being related on the Mother's side of the family? I had always thought they were related through Arley but again, I could have been mistaken all this time. Just curious.
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby Norm » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:23 am

Yes

All that source was the Country Gentleman book. Billie Rose looks to be about three or four in a photo with Ida and Willie so I would think that is a family shot
...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: Lowell Atkins

Postby albertgen » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:15 pm

I believe Lowell played guitar too. If my memory serves me correct he lived in Indiana not too far from me, possibly Indianapolis and worked as an Electrician. Al
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby albertgen » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Even though Chet grew up under difficult circumstances he always let it be known how much he loved his family even his Dad, who while not always there for he really loved his Dad. Jim was also very important to him. Chet was quite a person beyond his musical talent. Al
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby Norm » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:56 pm

I always thought it especially poignant when he did "I still can't say goodbye"

A lot of people are under the very mistaken Idea that Chet wrote the song. He did not. It was written by Bob Blinn and J. Moore.
He does tell of trying on his dad's hat but in an interview very close to when he died he remarks how his dad possibly did not believe Chester was even his child and sometimes cruelly brought presents for the other kids and left him out.

Chet, of course, saw to his father's care when he got old.

But, like he says, it's "an industrial strength tear-jerker." Sadly, though I think the father he sang about was the father he never knew and wished his whole life could have been.

Speaks volumes about forgiveness but when's the last time you hugged your kid.

Or your folks...?
...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: Lowell Atkins

Postby Bryan B. » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:32 am

qoute..."I believe Lowell played guitar too. If my memory serves me correct he lived in Indiana not too far from me, possibly Indianapolis and worked as an Electrician. Al[/quote]"


Lowell played and taught guitar in the 1970s at Music Company in Kokomo, Indiana and lived in Frankfort Indiana.
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby HolliWorks » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:49 pm

Bryan B. wrote:quote..."I believe Lowell played guitar too. If my memory serves me correct he lived in Indiana not too far from me, possibly Indianapolis and worked as an Electrician. Al
"


Lowell played and taught guitar in the 1970s at Music Company in Kokomo, Indiana and lived in Frankfort Indiana.


I grew up in Kokomo, and wanted to play guitar as a kid. My brother got guitar lessons, but I didn't. Don't know whether we were too poor, of if it was favoritism. (Probably a little of both).

Anyway - I distinctly remember Lowell's name being mentioned in the house as a potential guitar teacher, and what I wouldn't do to wind back time and push harder for lessons as a kid. I didn't pick up guitar until I was 16 or 17, and by that time, he wasn't teaching anymore.
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Re: Lowell Atkins

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:17 pm

Lowell was the father of Jimmy Atkins Chet's nephew who lives(ed) in Stone Mt. GA. Jimmy told me that Chet left his original carved top Gretsch 6120 with his brother Lowell after Gretsch said they had no plans to reproduce it as a 'solid top' production line model. He further mentioned that he had a photo of Chet and Lowell with the guitar outside a car at Lowell's home. Jimmy said Chet eventually came back and got it.After Gretsch made Chet the 1959 Country Gentleman he gave the guitar to Jimmy and his new bride as a wedding present in 1962. After Chet's death they sold it at a nondisclosure Guernsey auction. Attempts to find out who got it and perhaps retrieve it to go in the Chet Atkins display at the Country Music Hall of Fame have been futile. Jimmy also played guitar around Atlanta and gave lessons at a local music store there. He said he never could play the 6120 in a band without sitting down because of the solid top added so much to the guitar, but it did enhance the sustain of the instrument. The last word I heard from Jimmy's wife he was no longer able to play guitar due to bad health.
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