<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title>"For Leona" - A portrait of Chet Atkins.</title> <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="chet atkins, guitar ,fingerstyle, caas, jerry reed, merle travis, c.g.p., thumbpicking"> <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Tribute to history's greatest guitar player, Chet Atkins. Includes the most complete discography on the web, photos, stories and information on CAAS."> <style type="text/css"> <!-- .menu { text-decoration:none } .menu:hover { text-decoration:underline } //--> </style> </head> <body bgcolor="#ffffff" vlink="#666666" link="#000066" leftmargin=0 topmargin=0 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0> <center> <table border=0 width=590 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0> <tr> <td valign="top" rowspan="2" width=125> <table border=0 width=125 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 bgcolor="#99CCCC"> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="center"><img src="images/logo_a.gif" width=125 height=130 border=0 alt="MisterGuitar.com"><br><script language="JavaScript">document.write("<font face='Arial' size='-1'>" + curDate + "</font><br>");</script><img src="images/greentop.gif" width="125" height="29"></td> </tr> <tr> <td><img src="images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> <td bgcolor="#E6F0F0"> <table border=0 width=123 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 bgcolor="#E6F0F0"> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../index.html">Home Page</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../news/index.html">News</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../discography/index.html">Discography</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../metchet/index.html">"When I met Chet"</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../caas/index.html">CAAS Convention</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../bios/index.html">Chet Bios</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../links.html">Guitar Links</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../cd.html">CDs</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../fans/index.html">Fan photos</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../tshirts2.html">Souvenirs/Videos</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="mailto:feedback@misterguitar.com?subject=Misterguitar.com feedback">Contact Us</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> <tr><td align=center><font size=2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a class="menu" href="../news/aboutsite.html">About This Site</a></font></td></tr> <tr><td><img src="images/greenspacer.gif" width="123" height="3"></td></tr> </table> </td> <td><img src="images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3"><img src="images/greenbot.gif" width="125" height="11"></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" align="center"> <br> </td> </tr> </table> <!-- sign up! --> <FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="../cgi-bin/FormMail.pl"> <table width="120" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="4" bordercolor="#cccccc"> <tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#99CCCC"> <font color="#000066" face="Arial, Helvetica" size="4">Get on the list!</font><br> <font size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica">Misterguitar.com's mailing list</font> </td></tr> <tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#eeeeee"> <font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica">Enter your email address</font><br> <input type=hidden name="recipient" value="feedback@misterguitar.com"> <input type=hidden name="subject" value="Add to Mailing List"> <input type=hidden name="return_link_url" value="http://www.misterguitar.us/"> <input type=hidden name="return_link_title" value="Back to Misterguitar.com Home Page"> <input type="text" name="email" size="13"><br> <INPUT TYPE="submit" value="Sign up!"> </td></tr> </table> </form> <!-- end sign up! --> </td> <td valign="top"> <img src="images/space.gif" width=1 height=30><br> <img src="images/header_news.gif" width="465" height="100"><br> <table width="465" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td width="10">&nbsp;</td> <td valign=top> <font face="Times"> <h3><div align="center"><font face="" color="#000099">Players honor Chet with their music, <br> Leona Atkins receives portrait of Chet <br>at 2001 CAAS convention<br></font></div></h2> <br><br> <font size="3"> The 2001 CAAS Convention in Nashville has just ended and I'll be the first to admit I had no idea what to expect. On one hand, I was sure the event would be a sorrowful, maudlin affair without the excitement of previous years. I had no idea how the performers would play or what they would say on stage given the fact that Chet had died just 11 days prior to the convention. I was pleasantly surprised to see performers moving on with the music just as I imagine Chet would have wanted. Every performer I saw played Chet's music with emotion, love and respect. There was a spirit of Chet's influence which at least for me, kept the convention upbeat.<p> The playing at the convention was as always, unbelievably great. I always enjoy hearing players like <b>Buster B. Jones, Tommy Emmanuel, Muriel Anderson, Jim Nichols, Thom Bresh, Ray Cummins, Guy Van Duser, Richard Smith and Paul Yandell</b>. I particularly enjoy spending <table border=0 width=125 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 bgcolor="#99CCCC" align="right"> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="160" height="1"></td></tr> <tr> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> <td bgcolor="#E6F0F0" align="center"><a href="images/jimherald.jpg"><img src="images/jimheraldthumb.jpg" width="160" height="122" border="0"><br><font size=-2 face="Arial, Helvetica">Jim Herald</font></a></td> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> </tr> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/greenbot2.gif" width="160" height="11"></td></tr> </table> time with young players who are so far ahead of me it boggles my mind. <b>Jim Herald</b> of Wisconsin, who is only 18, plays circles around 90 percent of the players at the convention. He's only been playing a little over 2 years!! He and Buster B. Jones played a few hot duets in the Lounge and Buster had to put the boy <b>in his place</b> a few times, but what a great young man Jim is...talented, yet humble. I picked some with his Dad, Bob Herald, who is closer to my playing level (no offense, Bob!)<p> I also enjoyed seeing <b>Paul Yandell</b> play with <b>Ray Cummins</b>. I had not ever heard these two players play together and it was a real treat. I played with Buster B. Jones, Daniele Bazzani from Italy and many many others. I missed not having the chance to play with Julian Smith or Lee Ramirez. So much to do, so little time! <p> There were lots of stories told about funny or inspiring times with Chet. I spent most of my time with some of Chet's closest friends, and I heard incredible, wonderful things about Chet that I did not know. I soaked them all in and felt so grateful to know things 99% of Chet's fans will never know. I felt very close to the man I had met on only 4 occasions. <p> Three months prior to the convention I had decided to give a present to Chet's wife, Leona. <table border=0 width=125 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 bgcolor="#99CCCC" align="right"> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="160" height="1"></td></tr> <tr> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> <td bgcolor="#E6F0F0" align="center"><a href="images/tomandmerle.jpg"><img src="images/tomandmerlethumb.jpg" width="160" height="147" border="0"><br><font size=-2 face="Arial, Helvetica">Tom Redmond and Merle Russell with portrait</font></a></td> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> </tr> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/greenbot2.gif" width="160" height="11"></td></tr> </table> With Chet's cancer, the last few years have been tough and I wanted to do something special for her. In April of 2001, I commissioned artist <a href="http://www.misterguitar.com/news/dennis.html"><b>Dennis Auth</b></a> of Norfolk, Virginia to paint a grand portrait of Chet throughout his career. The portrait, entitled <br><b>"For Leona"</b>, would show images of Chet from his early days up until the 90's. I picked <a href="http://www.misterguitar.us/news/dennis.html"><b>Dennis Auth</b></a> because he had done a wonderful portrait of my father <b>Russ Redmond</b>, who died unexpectantly at age 53 in 1987. Dennis had also done a portrait of Hank Williams Sr. for use on a TNN special. The portrait was completed on June 1, just 29 days before Chet's death. I had hoped to present it to Leona but that also Chet would get to see it. That was not to be. <p> I presented the very first print of the portrait to <b>Chet's daughter Merle</b> on Thursday July 12, with a special card for Leona attached and Merle seemed delighted and was sure her mother would enjoy the work of art. I made only <b>7 additional prints</b> of the original piece, and gave them to some of Chet's closest friends. To see a closer view of the portrait, click <a href="http://www.misterguitar.us/news/images/merlerussell.jpg"><b>here</b></a>. The finished prints are 16x20 inches. Here is a little closer look at the <a href="http://www.misterguitar.us/news/images/forleona.gif"><b>finished portrait</b></a> <p> Some folks chose to drive up Route 100 to Harpeth Hills cemetary to see Chet's gravesite, something I didn't feel up to doing myself. Here are a few photos of some of the flower arrangements around Chet's <a href="http://www.misterguitar.us/news/images/grave.jpg"><b>grave</b></a>. <p> Like every year, I vowed to leave early in the evening Saturday rather than staying for the whole show, so that I could get a few hours of the 14 hour drive home out of the way. As usual, I could not pull myself away and stayed up late yet <table border=0 width=125 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 bgcolor="#99CCCC" align="right"> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="160" height="1"></td></tr> <tr> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> <td bgcolor="#E6F0F0" align="center"><a href="images/tedandtommy.jpg"><img src="images/tedandtommythumb.jpg" width="160" height="190" border="0"><br><font size=-2 face="Arial, Helvetica">Ted Walters with <br>Tommy Emmanuel</font></a></td> <td><img src="../images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"></td> </tr> <tr><td colspan="3"><img src="../images/greenbot2.gif" width="160" height="11"></td></tr> </table> again, playing guitar and listening to others. <b>Conway Twitty's</b> son Mike showed up and three or four of us pickers even SANG a bit, standing around the Grand piano in the lobby of the Sheraton. Russ Jenkins of the UK and I managed to find some cheap cigars. He calls them "rubbish" yet we smoke them Saturday night every year!. <p>One special moment was the highlight of my trip this year. <b>Ted Walters</b>, who has been a Chet fan for fifty years and was a close friend of Chet's for many years was pretty ill this year. He wasn't sure until a few days before the convention that he would be able to attend. <b>Tommy Emmanuel</b> told me at about 8PM that he wanted to dedicate a song to Ted Saturday night. The player's schedule however, appeared to have Tommy taking the stage late in the evening, perhaps too late for Ted. <p> I told Tommy that Ted might not be around that late at night, and he immediately asked me to get Ted and he would spend a few private moments with him. Ted, his son Chet Walters, and I met with Tommy in a small meeting room for about 20 minutes at around 9 o'clock. Tommy treated Ted to a few special songs face to face. A private concert from one great picker to one of Chet's closest friends. Ted is a friendly, humble man many of us know and love. <p> Before going on stage, <b>Thom Bresh</b> humored me by letting me play "Hangin with the Girls I Know" with him, and someone caught it on video. Whoever it was, please send me the tape! <p> About 4 different people told me I had improved my playing from the previous year. I don't see how, I never get a chance to play. I suspect we all improve in an environment so plentiful with talent. The July convention makes us all play a little better by weeks end. <p> - Tom Redmond <br><br> </td></tr> </table> </td></tr> </table> <img src="images/space.gif" width="1" height="10"><br> <hr size="1" width="590" color="#99CCCC"> <font size=-2 face="Arial, Helvetica"><a href="../news/index.html">News</a> | <a href="../discography/index.html">Discography</a> | <a href="../metchet/index.html">"When I met Chet"</a> | <a href="../caas/index.html">CAAS Convention</a> | <a href="../bios/index.html">Bios</a> | <a href="../links.html">Guitar Links</a> | <a href="../class.html">Classifieds</a> | <a href="../fans/index.html">Fan photos</a> | <a href="../poll.html">Your Favorites</a> | <a href="mailto:feedback@misterguitar.com?subject=Misterguitar.com feedback">Contact Us</a></font><p> </body> </html>