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Sympathy notes to the Atkins Family
after hearing of Chet's passing on June 30th, 2001

Hi: I don't know if this is the right place for memorials for Chet (sob!), but I feel it only right that Ishould pay tribute to a man who, although I never met him, has influenced my life incredibly over the last 20 years. In fact, without a word of a lie, I got a Citizen phonograph/cassette combination stereo for Christmas and from that day until now I have never missed a day of listening and learning that man's beautiful music. I play keyboard (half-sized keys) and through him, I learned "Yankee Doodle Dixie", "Vincent" (the newer one) and "Ave Maria" (bass, chord, melody, and harmony). The latter I learned in 30 minutes and all these tunes I play with one hand. (I don't mean to brag when I say that, it's just that if you ever saw my left hand, you'd realize I haven't got much choice.) I promise you Chet, the learning will never stop. I also pray that God, in His infinite mercy, will allow me to play a song with Chet and Jerry Reed, even if it's just one.My deepest condolences to Leona, Merle, Mrs. Shockley, and the rest of the Atkins family

You know, thinking about it now, I think Chet unknowingly played his own best tribute when the vocalists behind him sang:

But I could have told you, (Chester) This world was never made for one As beautiful as you

This is not goodbye, Chet ('cause I Still Can't Say Goodbye, either...dammit!) This is just "See you when I get there!"

I love you, Chet

God Bless You

Don Mac Innis
Trenton, Nova Scotia

Please pass my sincere condolences to Chet's family and friends at this sad time. Chet Atkins was personally responsible for my love of guitar pickin' and Country Music, for that alone I will be indebted to him for ever. Chet, may the good Lord keep you in His mercy forever. Wayne Dillon - London, England.
No-one has ever come close. You will always be my hero. Simon Hayward - England
He was the greatest guitar player ever. We will miss his music. My husband's great grandfather was an Atkins. Reubin Atkins of Trigg Co., KY born in Patrick Co.Va 1827. We like to think we are related to Chet. Margie & Joseph Darnall
Mrs Atkins and family - Thank you for sharing Chet with us. I honestly can't think of any person who profoundly affected me more over the years with his musical brilliance, humor and persona. Apparently, many people the world over feel the same way. I wrote to him when I was 13 and starting to take guitar lessons in the 1960's and he sent an autographed picture back. Recently, I purchased his Guitar of Chet Atkins tape and remember him saying that in his earlier career days, "the industry judged your worth on the amount of mail you received". If I'd have known back then, I'd have sent a letter every day. If I am fortunate enough to get to Heaven, I'll be looking for the man with the thumbpick in his left pocket. As long as there are guitar players, Chet will be remembered, honored and revered. Bob Farmerie - Cincinnati, Ohio
Dear Sirs, Ham radio will miss Chet. My mother, WB2YOP, made her first contact with him on CW in 1967. I still have his letter and QSL card. Tony Ricicki W2VRK
Howdy, a few years ago I saw Chet on a television but I don't remember which program. He was talking to the host and told a story that went somthing like this: Chet says "A while ago my wife and I were on a cruise ship. I was sitting on deck next to another gentleman and I began picking a guitar that I brought with me on the cruise. I was wearing a scruffy old hat and I hadn't shaved in a while so the gentleman next to me didn't recognize me. I played a few tunes on the guitar and the gentleman next to me looked at me and said "Hey, you're pretty good on that guitar, but you're no Chet Atkins." Phil Kawa
It's funny, my father, who is 87, was always a Chet Atkins fan, but Dad and I (I am 44) never agreed on our music tastes together - until I discovered Chet myself about fifteen years ago. "Hey, Dad, listen to this CD...." and my Dad would listen and then smile and say, "Why, that's Chester ..... whad're you doin' with Chet Atkins???" And from then on, I'd get "new" CD's and send them to my Dad (who is in failing health now and so listens to a lot of music these days). He'll call me and say, "Boy, that Chet can play, huh?" It was amazing that this man brought daughter and father together in such a way. I am sorry I missed out on a lot of hearing Chet Atkins play -all those misspent years listening to unworthy music, and I find that I was more saddened by his death than I ever thought possible ... but I still hear him speak through his guitar every time one of his CD's hits my player. And I thank him for that. Deborah Lombardo
Mr. Redmond, I have listened to Chet Atkins for many years, this man was a one of a kind. He inspired so many people over the years. May God bless his sole and I know he will be playing the guitar with all the angels. I loved him very much and will truly miss him.
Hi, To all of Chet's family and friends, my sincere condolences. He will be missed, without a doubt. Thank God he has left us his music. Musically yours, Tom Fudala
Hello, This is a beautiful and fitting page to present in memory of Gentleman Chet. Thank you for making this available. Wish I could have met him. He was an original for sure. And a huge influence on me as I learn guitar. Love you Chet!!! Peace be with you. Love, Kathy
Tom, I have been out of town for the past few days. It wasn't until I read your email this morning that I knew of Chet's passing. I feel like a piece of my soul has left me. I grew up listening to Chet and always loved his music. The strange thing is last week I played all of Chet's music I had downloaded from the Internet. I'm a programmer and I tend to work late at night. When everyone had left I turned up the volume on my PC and just played Chet until I left. God, how I will miss him. My prayers are with his family and friends. When I die I pray I can attend a command performance for the Almighty. I love you Chet. John H. Cameron II
My deepest sympathy to a great man. worked him back in the 70. l have many of his recordings. he will be missed greatly He will be in the choir in Heaven. God be with his family Dan Murphy W2GZB
I met Chet, way back in the 70’s through his cousin Jimmy Atkins. Back then Jerry Reed was running around with Chet. I did not know who Jerry Reed was at the time; he came back in the shop while I was playing my Gibson 12 string. He wanted to play my Gibson 12 so I let him; he played for about five minuets as I stood there with my mouth open. I asked ‘Who in the hell are you’ he said Jerry Reed. I asked ‘Who in the hell is Jerry Reed’ and he said ‘If you don’t know me maybe you will know his guy up here, and the introduced me to Chet Atkins and told him what I had just said. Chet liked that thanked me for putting Jerry in his place. Not a bad memory for a teenager at the time. They both gave me some albums and that started my interest in county music. Since then I have listened to a lot of Chet and some of Jerry and enjoyed it all. He will be missed, Al Patrick (a nobody just remembering)
The Loss of Chet Atkins by Richard Alcoy Chet Atkins will always be "alive". The greatness of his music lingers forever. As my major musical influence, his loss is just like a loss of a real father. When I was young, his albums were my precious constant companions taking the stead of my father when his work demanded he has to be far away from home. Chet's albums were with me all the time whether I was visiting friends or relatives. I would bring them to school, church or even teen dance parties. Thus, the birth of my musical heritage was born. I would copy his music note-for-note till late evening and afraid to change a note, as it is a - masterpiece. I would retire happilly knowing that I was being taught by the greatest guitarist of the world. I can feel his touch when I caress the guitar. As if he is with me. Chet Atkins' soul "resides" within my soul. But I am not even worthy to be as in his domain, as I am just a mere human being. Chet Atkins is different. He is MAGIC! Mr. Guitar you are truly missed! Your humble follower, Richard Alcoy
I guess I can add my little part to a great man .He has given more guitarist in future someone to try and copy and learn from .He has worldly influnced music more then any person in history .Iam very sad He is gone from us but I will see him every time I hear his guitar picking style .He was also a ham radio operator and so am I. Iwas in nashvile in 62, went to rca studio where eddy aronld was recording a song ,Chet came out and set down at the control panel here was my idle in thye flesh I could not even say hi.Although years later I heard him on the radio one saturday night ham radio that is he was leaving for the grand old oprea so I missed that chance to say hi.A few years later he came to hilton in Ames with the boston pops, And he said hi to me,I will always remember that he said it in morse code on the guitar. Dan Neely
At 15 I entered his contest (and lost). I was raised in Corryton, which is 10 miles from Luttrell. I've seen him in concert over 20 times. I have many of his items and he is truly a genius! The entire music world (not just country music) has lost a real treasure!
Dear Tom, My sincere condolence to all people who loved this Great man and his beautiful music. I hope his music will stay for ever. Edo van Gink The Netherlands
I never knew this wonderful man but I have many of his records and later his cds.Its like I have lost a member of my familly because I have been playing his music for almost fifty years.His style and touch and control was a thing of beauty and like many before he is one of a kind and surely be missed.
I was stunned to hear Garrison Keillor on Saturday evening announce on the air that Chet had died. I knew, of course, that Chet was aging, and had heard that he was despondent over being unable to play guitar, at least as he would have liked. I have been most sentimental about him since that evening. Chet's talent has thrilled me, inspired me, and enriched my life for years. I feel privileged to have seen him apparently enjoy himself at prior CAAS conventions. There has never been one better than Chet. I am thankful that he went peacefully, and pray that he went out on his schedule. He will be sorely missed.
To the family of Chet Atkins, So sad to hear of Chet's passing. He was a wonderful musician and touched my life from the fifties onwards. For years I couldn't understand how one man could do so much with a guitar, both in style and content. I reckon he was a genius. Condolences from Richard Askwith, Wales, GB.
Bonjour, j'ai 35 ans, je viens du Québec, (Canada), j'ai connu le plus formidable guitariste de tous les temps il y a une quinzaine d'années. Par la suite, la magie de cette musique m'a envouté au point ou j'ai aussi commencé à jouer du Finger style. Pendant une dizaine d'années, j'ai pratiqué, sans relâche. J'ai aussi correspondu avec Chet, qui m'a répond pour mon plus grand bonheur à quelques reprises. Sa mort est pour moi comme une partie de ma vie qui s'envole. Heureusement, sa musique restera dans mon coeur et j'espère à mon tour pouvoir la faire découvrir à mes enfants. J'offre mes sympathies à la famille. Yvon
The Country Gentleman

He was the one they looked to... Where the pickers came to play... He found licks on the guitar, They still emulate today.

But no one ever matched him... No, and no one ever will. The Great Guru of guitar, He is pickin for us still.

Layin out those rollin riffs... Standin on the golden stair... Playin lead for all those harps, He will fit right in up there.

Just as he did in Nashville... Though at first they thought it strange, Down on music city row... He brought Country licks a change.

A whole new mellow feelin, That was something of his own, The gentle in gentleman, That was his and his alone.

There will not be another... Though there will be some who try... And there were "Some Changes Made"... His great music will not die.

It will be there in the songs, Of every riff and run... Played by all those who treasure, That old Country Gentleman.

To the family and close friends of chet. Please accept the condolences of myself and the other Aboriginal guitar pickers of the Kimberley region of North - Western Australia on the loss of a wonderful inspiration to us all. We are in a far flung corner of Australia and the World, but his music reached us , touched us and inspired us. Chet's wonderful tuneswill always drift through the vast outback of Australia. Yours Sincerely Rodney Rivers
To all devoted fans of Chet Atkins:

I received many calls referring to the death of Chet Atkins. Like you, my heart felt like an anvil when I heard the news. Weep not, for the truth is Chet is not dead! Chet is a legend and legends do not die. They live forever in the hearts of thier fans and loved ones. I wrote an article to Tom Redmond about Chet's most devoted fan. His name was Bruce Flesher. Bruce was a dear friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. Hey Bruce: When you and Chet meet each other say hello from all of us and thank Chet for all the great music he gave us. Don Green

To Mrs. Leona Atkins, Merle and family; please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. Chet Atkins will always remembered as a gentleman and musician...a gentleman's gentleman and a musician's musician. From a distance, Chet touched my life so deeply...I can only imagine how profoundly he touched your lives. May his memory be a blessing as he will live in our hearts forever.
I also send my condolences to the family. I am 83 years young and remember the times when I enjoyed hearing his music on an old one tube radio. That should date me . I enjoyed hearing him at the Grand Ole Oppry many years ago and will miss him very much. All my old recordings were lost in a forest fire during the fall of 1997 but hope to build up a collection again in the near future. God bless all, and 73's K6DNF
Thanks Tom; I'm really disappointed that there hasnt been more news about Chet's passing locally. I live south of Chicago about 35 miles, and our city and local papers didnt even carry the obituary. Will there be anything more on TV about Chet in the near future? Since TNN was sold, country music news and related programming has really gone down hill. I'm greatsly saddened by this fact. My wife and I sure miss programs like George Jones' show, Opry Backstage, etc. Country seems to have 'sold out' to the money people. It's a terrible thing to see country become so commercialized. Guys like Chet kept it in perspective. He will be missed! Rick N Sandi M
A lifetime of music. A tender man. We have lost a good one. I hope, in some way, these posts of love and admiration for Chet and his music will bring good feelings to you that are Chet's family. His legacy may not be foremost in your minds during these early days since he passed on, but, I suspect his legacy will become a great source of pride and comfort for you as time goes on. My thoughts are with you. Michael Allsup 3 Dog Night guitarist
Chet was the great musical influence in my life. When I read the news here in England, I sat stunned for a few moments and realised that the greatest guitarist of the last 50 years was no longer with us. My deepest sympathy goes to his immediate family who were fortunate enough to have this great man close to them every day of their lives. Perhaps every player who tries from now on to emulate Chet will proudly put the letters CCAF after their name. I need hardly tell you they stand for Certified Chet Atkins Fan. Those of us who try (if somewhat in vain) to play a little bit of Chet's unique style will make sure that his legacy is passed on to the next generation and of one thing you can be sure; Chet's music will live on for ever!!! Andy Newman CAAF (Bristol, England)
I have a lot of his arrangements, with other artists, also, and always thought a lot of his expertise when it came to music. He will be missed a lot, but his music and arrangements will live on and will be exalted throughout the years to come. A fan, Keith
I have to admit that it was with a heavy heart that I heard that Chet had passed on. To complete my story, you have to go back to a small house in Virginia and me and my older brother crawling around on the rug on our living room floor. My Dad, who grew up not far from where Chet was born, had rigged his record player to play through the amplifier and speaker of our Muntz TV. One of my first memories is hearing Chet playing thought that speaker and holding on to the jacket covers. Through ten years in Virginia, ten years in Maryland, two years in England, and then back to Maryland, Chet's music filled our house with his ever present Nashville sound. College took me to Tennessee. Trips back home found Chet's music filling the air. Along the way I learned to play guitar and played in two rock bands. Even in my top form I could not come close to matching his style. But the influence was there. When my Dad passed on, I inherited his record collection. Many of Chet's records have now been transferred to tapes. But I've noticed that my Dad took such great care of all his records, that most of them sound as good as new. 1991 finds us visiting in-laws in North Carolina. We were given tickets to the UNC concert one night, and Chet was the guest performer. He brought with him several musicians from Chicago, who were right on. Once Chet took the stage you knew who was in charge that night. Now 51, work finds me and the family in Michigan. One of the music stores in Ann Arbor features out of date recordings. Not only could I keep up with Chet's recent recordings at the local Mall, but I found some of his earliest albums at this store. I knew that Chet would one day leave us but I was not prepared. [Are we ever prepared?] Chet's music will live beyond his years and only give sweet and loving memories to those that admired his music.
I have an empty space in my heart right now, and I know it will never be filled. Chet will live within me for the rest of my life. I'm only 24 years old, but I feel like Chet has been a part of me forever. My prayers are with you all, God Bless You, Jason Cornelius Fort Worth, Texas
I would like to offer my sympathy to Chet's family.It hurts deeply to loose a family member and all I can say to ease your sorrow is that there is a place much better then our world and Chet is up there smiling away and playing for the biggest audience he ever played for. To Chet's personal friends I can only say that I'm very sorry for the loss of a dear friend. To the rest of the people,like myself,who only dreamed of meeting Chet but still held him deep in our hearts for all of our lives,I'm sorry. I have prayed for Chet every day that he was ill and I'll still pray for him until the day that our Lord decides that it's time for me to finally meet Chet personally,,,in Heaven. God Bless You All and God Bless Chet. Tom Kuzia The Yankee Ham 'n' Egger Beacon Falls,Ct.
My husband was greatly influenced by Chet,s unique style of guitar fingerstyle picking. The musical style has and will continue to inspire us all. Chet was a humble gifted man that will be greatly missed but his musical legacy will continue.... Our sympathy to family. Thank,s for sharing this great husband ,father with his music appreciation musician,s. Jim & Cathy McCallum
I extend my families deepest sympathy to the family of Chet Atkins in his passing. I write this note to comment on what an personal inspiration Chet Atkins, expertise, style and mastery of the guitar have meant to me and my family of strings instrument pickers and players. Your musical legacy will endure long after we have all left this earth. Dave and Family
Even though I am only 32, I grew up listening to the influence of Chet's guitar. From Elvis, to Eddy Arnold, from Eddy Van Halen to Mark Knopfler,and more recently Chet, himself. When I heard the newsof his death a cold chill ran through my body, and a part of me has now also died. The greatest thing I could to tribute this MASTER, is to learn moreand play better. To the Atkins family, nothing anyone can say can take the hurt away, you are in our hearts and prayers!
I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Chet's family. He will be missed greatly. He's been an inspiration to me since the early 60's when I first picked up the guitar. His explorations into music outside of pure country is probably the reason that I, and thousands like me, appreciate all kinds of music. His treatment of pop tunes, jazz standards, folk songs, bossa nova tunes and classical pieces lead me to explore this music and become familiar with guitarists and musicians specializing in that music. I feel Chet gave us a great gift in that. Appreciate the music, regardless of the label. And Chet played it all. Floating bossa nova, jazz ballads, Beatles songs, finger busting Jerry Reed tunes, fiddle tunes, movie themes, Appalachian folk melodies, bluegrass standards, country tunes, pop hits of the day, original tunes and classical pieces. Whether with a full orchestra, a band, duet or solo, Chet put his mark on the music. What a treat to listen to and watch him play. We'll be trying to master some of your licks till it's our time to leave. Thanks, Chet! You lead the way. David Hilyard, Santa Cruz, CA
You rule, Chet! You were one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Thanks for the music! -Jon
I lost my Mom to cancer, in March, and that was very difficult for me...Now, we've all lost another good friend...a friend to all guitarists of every genre, a true humanitarian. I pray that my Mom and Dad are in heaven at a Merle Travis and Chet Atkins duo performance, listening to "Cannonball Rag" or "I'll see you in my Dreams." My prayers are with you, Chet! God Bless Chet Atkins and his wonderful family. I'll never forget the day he signed my guitar. Wayne Wesley Johnson
I am 61 yrs old and did cry on Sunday when I heard the news on CNN. I bought my first record back in '53 or '54 (Finger style guitar) and it made me love this instrument for the rest of my life. My son has even become a professional guitarist for awhile,, influenced by my less than adequate picking and Chet's wonderful diversity in music. I am no particular fan of country music as a whole, having been raised in Quebec city, in French, country music was not an everyday occurence like south of the border. Nevertheless, the inventive genius of Mr Atkins has created a unique world of easy going and soul soothing music for the whole planet; talk about globalization way ahead of its time! Anyone who has tried to duplicate his style quickly understands the complexity and the sheer amount of brain power and hand dexterity required to deliver even a poor copy of his music. This planet has lost one of its best representatives of this human race but as he pointed out with great "sagesse", his recordings will play far into the next centuries. Claude Hardy

God looked around his garden and found an empty space, He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face.

He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest, God's garden must be beautiful, he only takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering, He knew you were in pain, He knew you might never get well upon this earth again.

He saw the roads were getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb, so He closed your weary eyelids and whispered " Peace be thine "

It broke our hearts to lose you, but you never went alone, because part of us went with you the day God called you home.

Terje Tangen

I am sorry to hear that Chet has passed away, I think we all will sad missed him . It would be good to keep Chet 's song Live & record . He would appreciated his song be out in store . I think everyone would loved to hear his song ,again. I will missed him and I miss all the old country star like Stringbean and Grandpa Jones. They all was a real good country music like Chet.M. Hillis
Mister Guitar, you gave the instrument class. Nashville and your fans will miss you Chet. 73 W4CGP (SK) de W4DON
Please pass on my deepest sympathy to Chets Wife and Family. I have been a fan of Chets since 1960. Everything that has been said about Chet over the years I agree with but for me it was the quality of his playing - his "touch" that I will remember, no one played better. His style interlocked with all others, who else could duet with so many other guitarists, from Jazz to Country to Rock to Classical. Chet ! your music will live for ever. Goodbye old friend.... Willie Houghton, England.
Our deepest respect and sympathy to the worlds greatest guitar player ever. Chet Atkins has always been the no. 1 inspiration in our music and country way of life. May he rest in peace. Evelyn & Vagn Iversen Samsoe, Denmark
Leona ,Merle and family, I 'm 48 and have been a Chet fan since 8 years old. I have over 70 of his albums that I will never get rid of at any price because to me they are priceless.I've listened to his music 5-6 hours daily for years and will continue to do so.Had the great privilege to see him at 2 different concerts. It was amazing to see him play continually for over an hour without making a mistake. He was like a friend I never actually met. I have spent thousands of hours trying to imitate his style and learn those awesome licks only he could make with perfection. A few times my whole weekend would be canceled just to stay home and see a Chet special on TV. Bought a Tennessean to have a guitar like Chet and try to imitate his sound. Would buy a whole album of mixed country artists if it had only one Chet song on it. Always had the hope of talking to him on ham radio but never got the chance. There never has and never will be another guitar player like Chet Atkins. He has brought joy and inspiration to untold millions the world over and his music will live on forever. He made a tremendous impact on my life that I will always be grateful for. My prayers have been with you since Saturday. May God bless you and your family. Dale Hill N5XT Kennard,Tx
To the Family and Close Circle of Friends of the Great Chet Atkins: Please know that the news of his passing did not go unnoticed here in Oklahoma City. He was one of my father-in-law's favorite artist and we all concurred. I don't have to try to tell you what a giant he was. I'm sitting here thinking he was the JFK or the Dale Earnhart of the music world. . . Heaven's gates have welcomed another weary travler; his long battle with cancer no longer holds him back from sharing in the new music he longed to experience. May you find strength in the lonely hours in the pleasant memories and the knowledge that he enriched the lives of millions of people over dozens of decades. He will not be forgotten! Gary Canan, 8th grade art teacher
To Chet's Family: We are grieving with you at this difficult time. The loss of Chet Atkins is being felt around the world because of his influence on so many fans and guitarists. I grew up listening to Chet since my father has always been a big fan and was fortunate to have seen Chet twice in concert. As a guitarist, I will continue to keep his legacy alive by playing his music as long as I'm able. God be with you at this time. Gene W. Putnam Minot, ND
Hello Tom, Thank you for what you are doing. I am feeling pretty low right now as I know everyone is. It makes me feel good to know people like you will carry the music on. My prayers are with you and the family. God bless, Cal Denison
Chet is more than a guitar player, or a friend, or a musician. He is that to which we all aspire.
My son and i have an unabashed love for the Everly Brothers even though we are 30 years apart in age. Obviously there would be no Everly's without Chet Atkins so we just want to say thanks for all the joy that he has provided us and so many others via his own music and those that he helped out in one way or another. Scott McGarvey Levittown, Pa
Dear Atkins family & friends, There are no words to ease your pain, but I hope that knowing people care and keep you in their thoughts with help comfort you. The physical world suffered a great loss with Mr. Chet's passing but as long as he's remembered he will never really die. He's etched in or hearts whether family, friend or fan. I hope your memories are always a comfort to you. This is something Michael Landon wrote that touched me when my dad died: "Remember me with smiles and laughter For that is how I will remember you all If you can only remember me with tears Then don't remember me at all." With deepest sympathy, Geri (McNamara)
Ever since I heard that Chet was gone, even though I didn't know him personally, just "brushed elbows," I've felt like there's a great,big hole in the world that I keep falling into when I least suspect it. I loved his music and his imagination. I was lucky enough to hear him in person and we have his recorded legacy, but he was such a genuinely good man, kind, unpretentious. there aren't enough great musicians and swell guys around that we can afford to lose one! Well, God must have needed another musician! Thanks for all the music. We are going to miss you sorely. Cassandra K.
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Chet Atkins, my hero, on BBC Radio 4 here in England on Sunday morning. I have been a devoted fan since 1963 when I was just 14. Chet has given me enormous amounts of pleasure each and every day since. I listen to him daily and have a collection of 82 LP'a, CD's and tapes collected over the last 38 years. I never had the pleasure of seeing him perform live, but I have him on video and today at 5.00 p.m. in the UK I had my own little memorial service watching his "Rare Performances" video to coincide with the memorial service in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten. God Bless you Chet. My condolences to Leona and Merle and the rest of the family.
Thanks Chet for all the joy you have left for us. Steve Thoonen (Melbourne Australia)
All of us guitar pickers in near Boston MA will miss Chet very much. For the past 30 years we've been attempting to play his finger picking style but only Chet could play that style and get that sound that we tried so hard to obtain. You played the guitar the way the guitar should be played. Goodbye Chet Phil Kawa
Leona and Merle, You are in my prayers, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Chet with us over the years. I can't remember when I was not a huge fan, but "fan" is such an inadequate word for how I have always felt about Chet and his music. Words just can't express the dept of my feelings. Please know that I am remembering Chet's family in my prayers. With love and respect, Larry Marchino
The chair is empty, and so is one chair in his home. Please bring my sincere condolances to his family.. I have admired Chet Atkins since i was 12. ( I am now 46) And has not changed my mind in all those years. His music did something to me and it allways will. Sincerelly Turid Myhre (Norway)
Tom, Another of us many in the world who also believe the music is better than it was before up there in God's special concert area, with Chet's help. God bless Chet and you & your words say it all. Another Admirer.
Dear Feedback, I am writing to share the grief with the loss of Chet. My father was the service manager of consumer electronics for RCA for over 40 years in the North Texas Area. Of course, Dad brought home what are now priceless RCA LP's by various artists including all of Chet's stuff (even the 45's with multiple cuts per side). I grew up listening to 'that sound'. I even met Chet once. He signed the playbill with Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph and Jerry Reed for me. Chet's sound has brought me joy over the years. I know Chet is safe and healthy and happy now. His music will continue to bring me joy. Thanx, Chet Norman Kasal DeSoto, TX
His music will continue to be the biggest influence for me and many others for the rest of our lives. Rest in peace Chet. Cheers, Richard Smith
I pray God's blessing and healing for Mrs. Atkins and her family. Chet and my father were almost exactly the same age. My dad died in 1975 when I was 17 and just starting guitar. I transferred a lot of my feelings for him towards Chet. When I got to meet Chet in the 80's, I was so awestruck I could only croak "Mr. Atkins..." I think he got a lot of that; he just smiled at me and signed my album. I'm sad right now but take comfort in the knowledge that Chet is well and playing in the angel band today. He taught us how to play and how to behave; to be ourselves, to do our best, be kind, be helpful, be encouraging, be humble, uncomplaining and brave. When I see all the people Mr. Atkins has touched around the world let alone in the music industry, I know that my admiration is rightfully placed. I couldn't have picked a better hero. Chet Atkins was more than a great guitarist. He was a great man. Paul Doty
Cimmeron Valley Boys - That was the name of the group Chet played with when he came to station WNOX in Knoxville Tenn to a show called the Midday Merry Go Round. The group was Archie Cambell whom my mother dated in high school, and Homer and Jethro. Chet was an immediate hit with his style of playing. I went to the show in stead of going to school on lots of occasions. I could not get enough of his playing and of course for a kid just learning to play he was the greatest. I was very unhappy when he left there with the Carter Family, mother Maybelle, June, Helen and Anita to go to the WSM. I was glad though later when he became so great in the world of country music and I could say that I had talked to him many times at the shows the group did around Knoxville Tenn. All these years since then I have known that to me Chet was the greatest guitar player ever Good by old friend and one day on the golden shores I know we will meet again. Wayne Nelson Orlando Fl.
May I say how sad everybody was on hearing of the death of the beloved guitar picker Chet Atkins. He was a true gentleman and done more for other singers then anybody else, including Charley Pride, Waylon, Jim Reeves and Elvis among others. I paid a special tribute to Chet on my programme Saturday, soon as I heard of his death and played Yakety Axe (guitar solo) and the version with Mark Knopfler, and the two Statler Brothers songs dedicated to late star, "Chet Atkin' Hand and "Chet You're The Reason. His fans in Malta saluted him by phone ins and expressing their sadness for this great loss. Chet will be remembered for many years to come for his work as a guitar player, writer, entertainer, executive producer and above all, a father, husband and down to earth man that he was. Please pass on our condolences to his wife and daughter on behalf of the Malta Country Music Appreciation Society and Super 1 Radio. He'll be remembered in our prayers. Chet, we miss you. Vince Laus (Founder: The Country Music Appreciation Society - Malta) (Presenter/Producer: "Super Country" - Super 1 Radio - Malta)
To Leona & Merle and all other Family members. My condolences on your loss. I never met Chet in person, but his music touched my heart and soul throughout my life. And he left a legacy of style and grace that I can visit whenever i need to. I hope that legacy can comfort you in this time of morning. Be Well Rik Converse.
thanks Tom, you know VietNam didn't hurt me this much.
Sorry to here of our loss. I think Chet was one of our National Treasures. There can never be another. Dave
Dear Chet Atkins fans,admirers,etc: I have dreaded this day for many years now but I knew it would come someday. My love for this man goes back almost fifty years. He is solely responsible for my being a guitar player all my life. If it wasn't for Chet I would have never played with Conway, Grandpa Jones or many others. He has been at our dinner tables, in our bedrooms,and anywhere guitar was mentioned. He really had no idea how much influence he had on so many lives. So today all our tears are in one big puddle and I hope it washes away some of the hurt and loss. My fellow pickers we all mourn together for a great man that deserved more national recognition than he got. May God bless this gentle man and his wife and daughter, and let us all keep his memory alive by playing his music until we are sent to our reward. I'm sure Chet will be there waiting for us so we can all play together. God bless you Chester: Don Allen
To the greatest picker of all time...you will be missed, but never forgotten for all you've done for not only country music...but music in general. THANKS! Dave Glasgow, Kentucky God"s peace to the Atkins family during this hard time & beyond. You are not alone.
Chet Atkins: A gentleman in a not so gentle world. Remember his musical greatness but also his goodness. Nashville Fan
A very sad day today, music lost one of it's greatest Gentlemen, he gave generously and took little in return. Chet now meets with all those before him who he admired, what a session there will be. God bless chet for all he gave us. Roger Smith
My name is Jason Frash. I am a nobody as far as that goes, but Chet Atkins was is my hero on guitar. I started playing guitar in '97 when I started my senior year in highschool. A couple of months later my brother sold his banjo and i gave him one of my guitars. I had spent all my time learning run of the mill blues licks untill my brother tuned the guitar that I gave him into open G so he could play banjo rolls on it. This was about the time he had started listening to Bela Fleck. When I heard the crazy things he was playing I followed suite, except I tuned to open E. I made a map of my guitar neck and came up with an 8-note scale so that I could still play the blues. As I started to develope my own style, very jazzy fingerstyle blues with a good helping of classic rock and bluegrass too, I heard of Chet for the first time. One of the first things I ever heard him play was Melody Moonglow picnic with Les Paul. That sound still rings in my ears. Chet Atkins has totally changed my direction in guitar. Since I heard him I have kicked distortion for good and am in the process of cultivating the way that his fingers non-chalantely danced on the stings while he played rythm while still knowing when to fire of a flashy lick and his "Less is More" sustain that he nailed. I have had a lot of influences and there have been a lot of legends, I definately have a lot of respect for Johnny Lee Hooker who has just recently passed, but there will never be another Chet Atkins. I have thought for years that it would be great to play with Chet just once before it is too late, I guess it's too late. I would also like to send my condolences to his wife. sincerely, Jason Frash
He will always be remebered. He was a good freind of my sister Karen, when she lived in nashville. He gave her a guitar for christmas one year, and helped her career by getting her on Hank Snow's album cover for Cure for the Blues. He will be missed. He was a great man. Goddbye Chet. Randall McCloud
To: Tom Redmond From: Steve Moran, Chet Fan I hope you'll continue on stronger than ever with the website. Surely Chet would want that. I would love to read about how other Chet fans feel about him and how he has, and continues, to inspire them. For me, he opened up a window from heaven when he played. I've heard other great guitar players but none that had a key to heaven while holding a six-stringed instrument. His humility, kindness, and willingness to work hard and innovate stand out. He is one of a kind and we'll all miss him. My prayers go to his family. Steve
The greatest guitarist that ever lived.He will be remembered for-ever.It is a great loss but,guitar players who are really players, will know who loved Chet and learned from his music and technique and know the difference.I love you and thankyou Chet Atkins.John Seal
The Chet Atkins Family, Chet was the greatest musical influence in my life. I have been a guitar player for almost 50 years. Most of it was spent on the road. I had the privelege to meet and talk to Chet some years ago, and that meant more to me than anything in my life. He told me," if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. It made sense to me, and I've never forgotten those words. His talent made me a better musician. I figured if Chet can do it, then, so can I. It gave me the determination to learn his style and and his material, to better myself. There is no way to express my saddness, or know how you must feel at this time. The day I met Chet, to me I met god. He will forever be in my heart, and in my fingers. Sincerely, Mike Counterman Toledo, Ohio
Upon hearing the tragic news of Mr. Chet Atkins death I just wanted to send my regards. I'm so sorry. I am a 35 year old guitarist from Minneapolis. I started hearing Chet Atkins on the guitar when I was about 13 years of age. That's also the same age I started learning to play guitar. He was a talented man, and a very jovial type person also. I always admired his attitude and sense of humor to his approach to the instrument. He will be missed very much - and yet he will* live on through his beautiful music. Thanks Chet! Paul "PJ" Booth Johnson
We'll miss you, Chet. You were the best there was. Mark Streit, Kelowna, British Columbia
Dear Tom Redmond:What can I say that has not been already said about our great man ,"Chet Atkins",guitar genious,super human being.It tears my heart out that he is gone.Something is missing.Feel the same as when my father passed on.Something was gone never to be replaced.My deepest heartfelt sympathy to all his family and friends.My love and prayers to all. Sincerly,a friend Chris Thiessen
Just a brief note from Yarmouth Nova Scotia Canada, to send our deepest condolances to Mr. Atkins' family and friends. We are extremely saddened to hear of his passing. He was truly a great person and incomparable performer. The world is surely the better for his being here, and surely the worst for this loss. With sincerest sympathy Ted and Lin McGray Yarmouth NS
The world will be a little smaller now that this legend has come and gone and a guitar made by any name won't play the same great song and the man that smiled and offered his hand to those just passing through will be remembered right up to the end, when my life is finished to We'll see ye later Chet, keep your guitar in tune Freddie Hart & Don Bradley
Greetings, My sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Atkins. Please forward my best wishes to his family. Best, Bradley G. Smith
Your front page really brought a tear to my eyes. This really conveys the finality of it all and I think its an impressive tribute. Thanks, Bob Greenwood
My deepest sympathies go out to Mrs. Atkins and their daughter Merle. I know what it is like to loose a dad. I lost my dad 3 years ago to cancer. Chet was my dad's favorite guitarist. My dad played the guitar too and he played by ear so he could copy Chet's style. Since my dad died we haven't been able to listen to any of the many albums and tapes my dad had. I had the oppertunity to see Chet in person at the Ohio State Fair in 1979. It was a wonderful show. His music will live on and so will his memory. He will be sorely missed. My prayers are with his family in this time of need and maybe now my dad can play with him in heaven. My dad would've been so sad at Chet's passing, as my whole family is. Take care and keep the faith. Sincerely, Cheryl Shannon Clermont County, Ohio
We were so very sorry to learn about Chet Atkins's death. We have been a fan of his for some time, I think initially from the time we got his 1966 album, "The Pops Goes Country" from RCA. I am wondering if that is available on CD. We had the 33 1/3 album. Sincerely, Nancy & Carl Hutchinson
yes.... It is a sad day...... So much talent gone.....
Words can never say how we feel about Chet. Thank goodness we have his music.
Thanks Tom for the E-mail. In loving memory of a great human being. Mr. Chester B. Atkins. I fell as though a part of me has died today. We all knew he was quite ill, but, the loss is still immense. Ever since childhood, very few days went by that didn't contain Chet's music. Either listening to him or trying in vain to play some of his remarkable music myself. Chet Atkins will stand tall amongst the giants of music. He will also stand tall in the eyes of God as a pinnacle of the human condition: Humble, Quiet, Brilliant, Compassionate, Loyal, Honest & Loving. Heaven has received a precious gift of a human being. May God Bless You Chet!!
Just can't believe it. The world is now far less full. -SM
To the greatest picker of all time...you will be missed, but never forgotten for all you've done for not only country music...but music in general. THANKS! Dave Glasgow, Kentucky God"s peace to the Atkins family during this hard time & beyond. You are not alone.
My best to all over the very great loss of our beloved Chet. May we all gather and celebrate his life and great gifts of music and witt. As much as we will miss him, we have so much to be joyful and remember him by. Truly the greatest performer I have ever witnessed. I love you Chet.
I just heard the news about the loss of THE GREATEST GUITARIST of all time. I am deeply sadden. He was truly a COUNTRY GENTLEMAN. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Atkins once at The Bellevue Center Mall in Nashville when I used to live there. He was the most genuine STAR I have ever met. I will always remember him in my playing. Let him rest with The Lord in Heaven forever. John Thompson
I have been a fan of Chet Atkins since the 50's. The first record I bought of his was a duet album with Hank Snow. I have a large but not complete collection of his work that I will cherish it forever. The world has lost the best guitar player that ever lived. There will never be another like him. Moreover, we have lost a great human being. My very best wishes to his family. Laurie Rockwell Nova Scotia, Canada
Chet, we will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done. God bless you. Peter Dukes.
altijd de mooist herrinneringen love him mister guitar
From all of us here at Sound Stage Studios, Nashville, our thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends. Thank you so much, Chet. Nashville and the world of music will never be able to replace your talent and spirit. What a band you'll have in Heaven!
Deeply sadened to hear of the death of Chet Akins. I had great privelidge to own a Nashville Grech guitar which the Sound shop in Drogheda Co Louth Ireland ordered for me many years ago. I am sure he will be sadly missed by all his admirers over the world. Pat Moonan, Mellifont Rd, Begrath, Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland.
Words can not express the emptiness I feel now that what I had felt was about to happen finally happened. I will take solace in my collection of recordings and books I have on this great person and guitar player. His name has always been magical to me and my life and my playing was enhanced by him. Thanks Chet, God bless you.....
Thanks so much for a beautiful page in memory of Chet. It popped up while I was reading your home page and I shed a tear for all the years I've enjoyed Chet's music and for his influence in my life. Sorry, Chet, but, besides your guitars, we DO know you and will always care because of who you were. Chet Atkins: Much loved and openly worshipped in our family. Our blessings to Leona and all his family and friends who will miss him dearly. A Canadian Fan Bo Fred Olsson
Chet, We will all miss you very much..73 de KD5KBG
We both have loved his music...he will be missed. love, Sharon Seabury & Sharon Lyon
Dear Tom, When I opened your email, I was listening to "Carolina Shout" on Chet's double CD, The RCA Years. Chet was a gentle giant as well as a monster guitarist, and they don't make 'em like that anymore. May this wonderful man rest in peace; he's brought us so much great music. Greg Livingston Music teacher & guitar player, Newton (MA) Public Schools
Dear Leona, Merle & Family: >From Cypress, California, my wife Addie and I send our deepest sympathy and prayers for you and yours at the loss of your husband and father. We know that Chet was a great man and human being. I feel as if I have lost a dad. Chet was a great influence on me, and he and God were the reasons I wanted to play the guitar and become a professional musician. In 1986, I was nominated along with Chet for guitar player of the year by the Academy of Country Music, which was one of the highlights of my life. I still possess all of his recordings dating back to 1946. I will always appreciate the years he spent developing the music business and guitar techniques. God bless all of you in this time of remembrance. You are in our prayers. Much love and blessings. Your friends, Lou & Addie Martin (Martucci)
Chet was one of those rare gifts from God that showed us all, just how good this world can be. The world is truely a better place because of him. Whitewater WI. Chet was one of those rare gifts from God that showed us all, just how good this world can be. The world is truely a better place because of him. Whitewater WI.
I feel like a part of me died. Chet was my hero.
To Chet Say hello to my Mom and Dad. They will listen as long as you will play. Johnny Pate Jacksonville, Florida
At 10:00AM on Saturday June 30th I picked up my acoustic to go over a couple of parts for an afternoon show. My fingers played the "Merle Travis" favorite "Farewell My Blue Bell". When I finished something inside said, PLAY IT AGAIN! So I did. I haven't played that song in years! That afternoon I played a 3:30 show at the Dauphin Country Music Festival in Dauphin Manitoba. After the show (and autograph session) we went back to the hotel for dinner. It was there I ordered a Martini to everyone's surprise. I explained that I had once read how Chet always enjoyed a dry martini. Every couple of years I would be in the mood to have one and toast the gentleman that has given me so much joy over the years. Moments later the waitress (who knew we were in for the festival) told us of the news story that had just come over the radio. A stunned table turned to me, tears welled up as I silently toasted Chet for the last time. You will be missed! Sean Borton Winnipeg Manitoba Canada The Foster Martin Band
The Great Gentleman and guitarist is gone, but his music will live on being an inspiration for the many of us. Condolanses from 2 guitarplayers in Norway.
Dear Mrs. Atkins and family, My heart goes out to you at this time of your deep loss. I heard of Chet's passing on CNN news and felt that I, too, had lost a family member. I did not know that he was suffering from cancer. I realize that his suffering must have been difficult for you to bear. but you have many wonderful memories to think on over the rest of your lives. He will never fade. I had the honor of seeing Chet perform live in Santa Barbara and Ventura, CA and have been a fan since I can recall enjoying music (over 40 years) because of my father's love of Chet's music. Growing up in Ohio and now living in California, Chet's music constantly reminds me of the best ideals of the Midwestern lifestyle. I will never forget my California friend's amazement at a live concert listening to Chet for the first time - he did not understand why Chet was so quiet while performing until I explained about Chet's humility. He was a true gentlemen and classy entertainer. I realize I am a stranger, but may this message bring you comfort in realizing you are supported in thoughts a prayers. Sincerely, Barbara Rogers Scollin
Chet, thanks for bringing so much musical joy to my life. I have loved and collected all your music from the beginning. I can only express the lifelong pleasure and enjoyment your brilliant music has brought me. Your music has been a passion to me....your are my idol and will be truly missed. After nearly 50 years as a zealous fan, I feel a void in my life now. Bob Hunziker, Toronto
To his family, For those of us who heard his words and music he will be greatly missed. 42 years ago I used to sneak up the hill to the door of Bob Esterbrock's house to listen to him and David Dexheimer practice guitar. They played Venture tunes. When I heard them stop sometimes, I'd get up the courage to knock on the front door. They'd let me in to watch them play. David would let me pick up his black and white Sears Silvertone and hold it. I told them they were really good. David told me Chet Atkins was the best. That started it. Years later, I met Chet in St. Louis when I was 17. I waited across from a side entrance to Kiel Auditorium and saw him get out of a cab. A newspaper, cigar and the guitar. He let me look at his hands. Did you feel the tingling sensation when you touched his hands? 10 years later, again, and a few times after, this time with my wife Linda. He put his arm on her shoulder and posed for a picture. She sensed it then, too. Older now, when I watched him play, I became aware of the glow. At times, when he played, he turned his head to the side and his eyes closed and he smiled. The serenity, this Master, this HolyMan of the guitar was surrounded in a golden white aura. He had long since understood and achieved oneness with the instrument. If you could get close enough to him, you could feel it. I'll not take much more of your time here, I know many people were profoundly affected by his works and have sons named in his honor out there. When my first child was born in 1977, we were going to name him Chet Anthony. Linda and I had a girl and named her Branham. She was born on June 20. She just turned 24 on Chet's birthday. She never got to meet him. I've been good, I've taken care of my fingers and I hope someday I can take that test in front of Chet and earn his CGP Degree. I'm so sorry, Tony Rhoades
I would like to convey my sympathy to the Atkins family on their sad loss. He was an inspiration to my friends and I more than forty years ago when we were all learning to play guitar. When he toured here over 20 years back he appeared at Middlesbrough on a cold February night and almost the whole of the audience was made up from all of the country or rock bands in the north of England. We were spellbound by his artistry.He will be missed by all, but his music will live on. Steve Whitehouse. Billingham. England.
i appreciate your mail. yes the world has lost in my opinion the greatest guitar player who has ever lived. there are alot of wonderful guitar players who were inspired by chet but there was only one chet atkins. joe
Thanks Tom for making it possible for Chet's millions of friends and admirers to have the opportunity to express our last good-bye to the greatest guitarist that has lived in this century. Chet was a "Country Gentleman" in the truest sense. His humility, kindness and incredible talent will be missed from now and beyond. In my 68 years, I have never seen or heard anyone compare to him. I was inspired to buy the Gretch Country Gentleman, knowing that I would never have the ability to play it as my hero played it. Please pass my sincere condolences to his family. Farewell, Mr. Guitar. We will miss you but your legacy will live on. Ken from Texas
Hi ,I'm very sorry to hear of Chets passing.I was introduced to Chets fabulous guitar playing. in 1963 by a friend and fellow guitar player and began collecting as many L.P,s as we could buy in New Zealand. He will be sadly missed. Where are official condolances being sent to? Kind regards....John E. Norris..
Thanks for all the wonderful notes since the fifties, that filled my ears and heart Chet.Your music will go on forever. Richard Tellekamp Jacksonville,NC.
To Leona, Merle and the CGP-fans all over the world. I wish you all the strenght of the world in these dark days, but let us remember all those days of sunshine that Chet gave us. There was'nt a day in my life that the music of Chet did'nt appear and being so lucky to have over 60 albums and about 30 CD's I can go on with his music every dat to come. I had tears in my eyes when I read this news and had to print it all out before I really believed it. And I still can't believe it. Dear Chet, "I still can't say goodbye and I'll see you in my dreams" May God be with him and you all. Rob Grollé
To hear that Chet had died was like hearing that a piece of the Sun or Moon had disappeared. He just seemed like one of those few individuals who would, and should, be with us forever. It doesn't seem real that he's gone and, I can't help but feel that a little piece of myself went with him. Chet, we'll 'see you in in our dreams!'. Don/Dallas, Tx.
I was very sorry to hear of Chet's death. I have heard of Chet all of my life. When he lived in Georgia for a few years, my father was a friend of his and everytime Chet came to the Pine Mountain, Hamiton, Ga area my father was always there to see him. I even met him when I was a little girl and saw him on several occasions when he gave concertsl. I have pictures of him and my father that I will always treasure.K.R. South Carolina.
Friends, I found it ironic that I would discover your website on the day of Mr. Atkins' death. I can only extend the condolences of a humble man to the bereaved family. I can count myself as one of the millions of Mr. Atkins' fans. Although I'm almost 50, I've loved his guitar playing since I was 9 years old. When my Grandpa played a record with Chet picking. I don't remember the name of the song, yet I asked my Grandpa who it was. . .He was an inspiration to me and so many all these years. A gifted man who with all his talents and abilities remained humble. I'm not eloquent, so I'll not go any further than to say he will be missed. Yet, he will live on in the hearts and minds of quitar players the world over. . .he was indeed uniquie. . .Thanks Chet. Sincerely. W.G. Miller
Nice site, "Great Man", he will be missed. John East Texas
I have just learned, with sincere regret, that Chet has passed away. Although never having met Chet, I feel I have 'known' him all my life. My boys grew up listening to Chet, as I was always a huge fan of his music, and I know that influenced the boys musically, to take up the guitar, successfully playing in local bands. Chet's style of music was often copied by others, but there was only one Chet Atkins, and there was no mistaking that unique sound. I am probably like may others my age (mid 50's) that are in mourning for a truly inspired musician, who can never be replaced. Please accept my sincerest condolence on the loss of such a wonderful musician and true gentleman, Yours Sincerely Wally Capsticks and Family Orillia , Ontario, Canada
Dear Chet, You sure did give me a lot to aim for, being a guitar player for the last 35 years myself. I'll never forget the time I saw the "Great" Chet Atkins not only play guitar but he also sang, which is something rare for him to do in concert. It was at an Evrly Brothers Homecoming concert in Central City, Kentucky. Thank you, Chet, for giving the world yourself and your beautiful music. It's a much better place now that you shared your life with us. It is truly the end of an era as we lose the world's "Greatest" musician, "Mr. Guitar". I know deep in my heart that there's a jam session in Heaven and that it's the sweetest music ever played. You are the best! We love you, Chet. Signed, A fan
Please give Chet's family our deepest sympathy. Thank-you, Sincerely, Henri Berger (Bert's best friend)
Thank you my friend, Chet, when I express to you and your family that you were an inspiration, I am not sure the message really gets through. I was deeply affected by the recording "Sails", many have not heard it; "Why Worry" is a particular favorite. God bless and comfort you all, and thank you for such sweet, fine original, really original guitar stylings. Good night Chet.......
In Memory of Chet Atkins, As a young man listening to the radio, and later watching television, I never missed an appearance by Mr. Atkins. He helped influence my life, and my enjoyment of the guitar. Although I will never have 1/1000th of the talent Mr. Atkins had with the guitar, I will continue to learn, to play,but most of all enjoy. To the 20 albums that I have of Mr. Atkins playing everything from rock and roll to hillbilly, to the moving versions of "Rugged Cross", and "God Bless America" on some of his religious album tracks, I will take with me the knowledge that I had a chance to hear and see the master. God Bless you Mr. Atkins, and my sincerest condolences to Mrs. Atkins, and the entire family. John Little Englewood, Colorado
On behalf of all country music fans in the United Kingdom,may I offer my deepest sympathy to Chet's family and friends at this present.Although I never met him,I feel as though I lost someone who has been part of my music life for the last thirty years.
I'm very sorry to learn of Mr. Atkins' death. As a musician and a ham radio operator, I will miss him. I had always hoped to run across him on the radio and get a QSL card. Thanks for the music, Graham
Dear Sirs, I happened to be on the Eddy Arnold web site and learned of Chet's passing today of cancer. To my knowledge it has yet to be on the news. Chet was one of the single most enfluencual guitarists of our time. His enfluence can be heard from every country artist to Elvis and the Beatles and more. As an artist and a kind gentleman, he shall be missed. My highest claim to fame at the moment is to be working at one of his alma maters, WPTF Radio in Raleigh. Goodbye Chet. Rest in peace. John Roebuck
Just wanted to express how very sad I am at the passing of Chet - he was always a wonderful entertainer and person. He will be missed so very very much.
It is a sad day today, as I heard on the news that Chet has passed away. He will be missed very much. I grew up listening to his music and always loved to hear him play. My family and I went to see him at a concert in Waterville Valley, N.H. years ago and loved every minute. It was a treat I will never forget. My son gave me a signed plaque with his picture on it for Christmas, 1997. It now hangs in the upstairs hallway of our home and will be a constant reminder of this great man. If it is possible please pass along my condolences to Chet's family. I know that anything I say can not take away the hurt, only time will do that. Chet will always be with us in spirit, and his music is forever. Sincerely, Bob Berry
Could you please convey to Chets family my sympathy at their loss. Chet was a source of joy, wonder and inspiration to me for forty-odd yearsand will be sorely missed. Mike Keeling, Auckland New Zealand.
Sorry to hear about Chet Atkins passing away. Loved his music. My heart goes out to his wife. Dixie Powers
I just found out you host the official site for Chet Atkins. I heard about his death and wanted to leave my condolences. I'm not certain whether you can pass them along to his family, but I would appreciate it if you could. I'm sure you'll begin to receive messages within the next few days from his legion of fans. If you post messages of condolence, please include my humble submission. Thank you very much. I am profoundly saddened by the death of Mr. Atkins. Although he was "Mr. Guitar" and "CGP" to many, he was always "Mr. Taste" to me. His playing exuded taste – he always knew just what to play and when to play it. He also knew how to use silence, and had a sense of when not to play. I have a dear, elderly friend who happens to hold a doctorate in music, and she once said that she believed Chet Atkins really knew "how to play rests" better than any guitarist she'd ever heard. I thought that was a very significant statement. I have been studying the guitar since 1967, and I played professionally for fifteen years. Although I've had many influences in my life as a guitarist, Chet was one of _the_ major influences on my playing. No matter how many times I play his recordings, I never stop learning something new from listening to him play. I only regret that I never made the time to send him a message of thanks. But I'm sure he knows now, he surely knows now… The music industry has lost a great producer, a great musician, a great guitarist, and above all, a great gentleman. He's left behind quite a musical legacy, and for that we can all be grateful. Everyone who's ever been touched by his music or his friendship will miss him deeply; I will miss him immensely. I send my most sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family, and I pray that they will be comforted by his enduring memory and by their faith. In remembrance of Chet, I will pause for a moment of silence on Tuesday and humbly play a song on my guitar in his honor. Michael J. Hernandez
So sorry to see such a Great man pass. But so glad he passed our way! God Bless Chet Atkins family and my prayers go out to them. Sincerly, Chris
So sorry to hear the sad news about Chet. He was the Big Chief of guitar playing and will be sadly missed by all who knew how great he was. I for one will remember and cherish his music forever. Sweet Dreams Chet Derek A Wales England
I just saw it on TV that Mr Guitar has passed away. When I started to play guitar as a thirteen-year old in 1970 all my friends were in to heavymetal-music except me because I had listened to a record with Chet Atkins that a cousin had. Since then Chet Atkins has been my biggest guitar-hero. The first record I bought was "Chet". Even though I´ve never met him or even been to a concert, his musical style and elegance has meant more to me than any other musical influence. Lars E Sundqvist Storuman, Lappland, Sweden.
Hello everyone , I here on the dutch television that Mister Cester Atkins is dead. This is a black day for the country music. Will anybody be so kind and send any information about it. I am one of the biggest fans and I will bring on my programm a special of him. So please gif me all the infomation tha one of you can get about his dead. And where he will be bury and when and so on. Many thanks to all of you. Greetings Henk.
We all lost a great one. A man who's style could explain what the guitar was all about. He will be missed by all, So Long, Chet. Farewell, Mister Guitar
Accept my sinsere sympathy for the family of Chet Atkins, friends and all fans. Chet do the verry best in the country music and he know to disclose secrets of the guitar, Chet know to inspir many guitar players in the worl,and we never forgot him,for is graciousness,for is talent, for all creations he do in the music , and i say, God Bless you Chet . bye Tom In the friendly way Claude
Hello, Tom, As always, I thank you for a wonderful service in keeping everyone advised of anything Chet has or had to do with as well as any activities associated with or related to Chet in any way. I got the bad news in this morning's newspaper. I was expecting it any time, being aware that he hasn't been in good health for quite some time. I want to express my sincerest condolences to you and anyone else who was close to Chet. I would have to think that would be an extremely long list, considering how many lives he touched in his lifetime, myself included. He is gone now, but his influence will live forever in those of us lucky enough to have ever heard his music and were lucky enough to be able to play any of it. There will never be another Chet! His smoothness and impeccable taste will go to my grave with me. There just aren't enough words in our language to describe all he meant to any one of us. Chester Burton Atkins WILL be missed. Sincerely, David Denlinger
We've lost a national treasure and a world class person. GOD love you, Chet Atkins!
Please extend my condolences to the family of Chet Adkins.He will be sadly missed by all of his fans. Sincerely, Judy Stachler
The world has lost a great ONE. Our thoughts and prayers to the family. Steve in Okla.
I grew up in a house that was not very music minded. But there was a Chet Atkins album. Even as a child growing up it was very evident that this man spread over many generations. I will truly miss him. Cynthia Cannon
You touched us all Chet, may you rest in peace.
So sorry to hear about Chet's passing. In 74 in high school I bought "more of that guitar country", and even though it wasn't the correct thing to listen to in those Led Zep days, I wore that thing out. I never got to see him in person or meet him, even at CAAS, but what a joy to be influenced by this great fingerpicker. Steve Wilkinson
My condolences to the Atkins family. Chet was not only an inspiration to guitar players around the world, but an influence to the entire musical world. His music will live on for countless generations touching all those who listen and understand what the meaning of music is really about. Richard Panfil
I would just like to add my condolences to the thousands of others who loved the music of mr akins. I grew up listening to his records and danced to few. His talent will be missed. Thank you Linda M.Robinson
Great Web Site, I am very sorry to hear of Chet's passing. I am a guitarist, used to work for a record company, have many of the albums you have listed, also many Les Paul and Segovia too. My style is hard rock, but I enjoy playing classical, country, etc. stuff too, because of Chet opening my ears and eyes. I do not think there is a guitarist out there, even if they have never heard Chey play, that has not been influenced directly or indirectly by his unique style of playing. I would bet most of the new Guitar Heros from all styles of music respect Chet and his accomplishments. Chet will surely be missed by us all. Thanks, Burton Jamison
Have just heard the sad news on BBC radio that Chet has died.Iam devastated having been a fan of his music since 1964. May i offer sincere condolences to his family. His music will continue to give pleasure for evermore.The music industry has lost a genius who gave so much pleasure to so many. Adevoted fan, Richard Hatty From England.
My condolences to the family, friends and associates of one heck of a picker and a real 'country gentlemen'. Sincerely, Larry Ledford
I was very sadened to hear of the passing of Chet Atkins today. I've been listening to him since 1960. His music has brought a lot of happiness in my life. I admired him as a great human being, and a great guitarist, without a doubt one of the best in the world. My condolences to his family and friends. We will all miss you Chet. With Sympathy, Ed Wilson
While serving in the U.S. Navy, Chet`s music was my constant companion, just like a good friend that comes by for a daily visit. He made those long night watches go by more quickly...He will truly be missed; but thank GOD we still have his music. Fred Stover, Atlanta, GA
Greetings: I would like to add my condolences to the family of Chet Atkins on his passing. Chet Atkins was one of the greatest inspirational guitarists I have ever listened too and tried to emulate. Since I was very young I have loved the guitar and have always known Chet was one of the greatest guitar players there ever was. My Grandmother had several of his albums that I would listen too as a child. I now own them and will treasure them always. Since that time I have collected quite a few albums and CD's of Chet, not to mention a few videos. I was fortunate to see him at the St Paul Ordway theater in 1989 (a birthday gift from my wife). Chet had a wide audience appeal at this concert that covered every age from very young up and coming guitar players to people who have listened to him most of their lives. What I always liked about Chet too was his humble attitude and willingness to give and assist others. He was a respectable roll model as well. Chet's style made the single most greatest influence on the way I play guitar today and for that I can never thank him enough. My talent on guitar can hardly begin to touch the surface when compared to Chet however the guitar has never meant so much or been such a pleasure to play. Though I have never personally met him, I feel as though he's been a friend for years. I will miss you Chet. John, Champlin MN.
Saturday night on Opry Backstage TNN, we will pay tribute to Chet. I attended visitation for him this evening. He will be so missed. Your page with his guitar and spotlight is beautiful and heartwarming. Rusty Wilcoxen Producer/Director
The loss of our 'Country Gentleman' is second only to the legacy he left us all: his devotion to his craft has provided us with a standard to constantly strive for, his influence in the music world will be reflected for countless years, and his gentle manner and tender heartedness has assured his eternal salvation, as well as a lasting place in our hearts. Thank you, God, for letting us borrow one of your finest. Rest easy, Chet. You have certainly earned it...Peace. ~ Pat 'the Hat', Hanford, CA.
Tom We heard the news in Australia last night. I met Chet Atkins in 1990 in San Diego and he signed an Australian five dollar bill for me. I have it framed and strategically located near all his CDs. Since that meeting I have always remembered him as an "Extraordinary Gentle and Quiet Achiever". Please convey my condolences to his family. He was a wonderful man and I will miss him. Keep in touch Regards Robert
My deepest sorow and condolence to guitar genius Chet Atkins. I am shure he is already playing on the heaven with Angels. Igor fom Croatia
To many of us, Chet is more than a man, or a guitar player, or a friend, or a musician. He is what we aspire to.
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy and condolences in your time of sorrow. We could not meet him. We are very sorry. But we love Chet forever. We lost great guitar player. Noriko and Hiroyoshi
W4CGP de W8FXE - Dick in Columbus,Ohio 7-3-2001 I was very sorry to learn of his becoming a "silent key". Ol Bozo (WLW-Dale Sommers) spoke about him this Tuesday shortly after midnight.It was always my love of Country Music, that when Chet was on the record, I usually loved hearing that music selection. May Chet now Rest In Peace. So Mote It Be 73 ol timer Gaylord (Dick) Dixon - W8FXE
Amen to that - I never met the man, never saw him play 'live', yet for forty years he was part of my life. RIP George Geddes
June the 30th 2001, this is a very very sad day for the world, because we have lost Chet. I know he is not suffering now, but it still hurts. I want the Atkins family to know, that I am sorry for your lose and I feel the pain with you. I know Chet did not like to talk about his playing, but I will. I am a player and the truth is a lot of players think they are good on this earth, but no one is in the same plain as Chet playing the guitar. Chet was perfection in sound, tone, smoothness and did things no one else could do. I loved you Chet and still do, you were a good man and I will miss you. I will listen to your music every day as I do now. I wish the Atkins family the best in your time of sorry. Paden President Paden M. Thompson,JR
Dear Chet : Your departure from this life left a hole which can never be filled. Know that you were truly loved by all your fans and friends. Be assured, people will know that you were here. My own neglect prevented us from sitting down and playing a few tunes together but I am consoled in the sure and certain knowledge that we'll have all eternity to get acquainted and do some serious picking. Give my love to Merle. Your devoted fan Dale Odom
Hello! Please, take our commiserations with Chet Atkins' decease. Here, in Russia we knew him, we loved him and we'll always remember all priceless things he has done for the music culture. We are sure that Chet will be living in each music connoisseur's soul forever. Sincerely, Mike Elagin Russian Net Rumble
I'm very sad to hear that Chet dies today.I extend my condoleances to his family. Blessings from Jean-Luc, France
I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Atkins' death today. But glad that I had a few opportunities to see him perform in recent years. -- Geno in Nashville
Gentlemen: Bad Day, .... John Ryba 47... LaSalle Illinois
Hi Tom, So sorry to hear the news about Chet. I'm sure your more then stunned. There was only a brief announcement on the new @ 6 just listing cause of death and his age, I'm sure there will be a tribute tomorrow. Take care, Brenda
Farewell and thank you, Mr. Atkins. You will forever remain in our hearts
Dear Folks, I am quite saddened to hear of the death of "Misterguitar" Chet Atkins. He was a staple in our home. Every morning my brother would awaken the whole family with his favorite "Chet" albums. The world of country music and guitar players everywhere have truly lost one of the greats of our time. May his soul rest in peace. thank you for this informative site. Patrick Old
I deeply loved Chet Atkins musical style and have many of his records and disk. There was nothing I loved to do more than sit and listen to him sing or talk. Sorry hear of his passing.
I just saw on a newsboard that Chet Akins passed away. I feel so bad when i was in Nashville in the country hall of Fame I enjoyed reading about him, He was one true Legend!!! ): May he RIP, at least he is not in pain now. Love Mary NYC
Chet is gone and he doesn't even make front page news....that is a tragedy.
i was very saddened to hear of chet atkins death. i have been a fan & admirer of his music & his contribution to america & his fellow musicians. my sincere condolences to his family.
To the Atkins family: Words will not describe my feelings for your loss. I was blessed to have met Chet several times. The entertainment world has lost an icon and I lost a mentor. My sincerest condolences to you. Bumper C,
Mr Chet Atkins' music has always been a treasure in our home. So sad that he has left us. However, the wonderful music he has left with us leaves us smiles still. Our best thoughts and prayers to the Atkins family, and of course to Chet. ~ Leslie & Brian Tietje
I was shocked to hear to of Chet's passing.I really didn't know much about him,except that I knew he did a duet with Clint Black,he will be truly missed by all his fellow guitarists.
It is a dark day for Nashville and the music industry.
My heart is very sad. and the cgp girl isn't someone I have had the time or inclination to call ( could the feedback crew get rid of her, now?) Please tell me that Mr. Adkins had a good death? We were very good friends twenty years ago. Thank you.
I'm sorry to hear of the death of Chet Atkins. My God comfort his family in their time of sorrow. Larry Chance Brandon, Mississippi
What a sad sad day. He was wonderful and will be missed. Never will there be another Chet. I started going to the Grand Ole Opry at an early age as my father worked for the National Life and Accident Ins.Co. and our vacations were there. God Bless his family.
I would like to wish my condolences on Chet's family. He was a great guitarist. Ernie MacInnis Sr.
Sorry to hear that Mister Guitar is gone. That is a sad, sad thing. The end of an era. Thank you Chet for sharing with us your unusual gift and unending talent. Jim Snow - Music lover
Just heard on Prairie Home Companion that we lost Chet today. So very sad. Thanks for the thousands of memories. God speed Chet. Brian and Terry
Thanks for a beautiful site about Chet ... "Gone...but Never Forgotten"... Judy & Mike Gresham, Oregon
Deena and I are so profoundly saddened to learn today of the death of our esteemed friend of many years, Chet Atkins. A fellow East Tennessean, the giant never forgot the important things of life-family, friendship, and professionalism. His kindness to the Hurst family of Knoxville will forever remain cherished, and his memory will be among our foremost one's forever. God bless this dear man, Leona, and his entire family. Fred A. Hurst, M.D. Knoxville, TN
Chet, Thanks for your wonderful gift. Roger McLean
I know John Anderson personally and if you didn't know it you would swear it was Chet playing when you heard him. Chet's passing is going to hit John quite hard as it is each and everyone of us who has worshipped Chet over the years. John told me that Chet was his mentor and Chet did give him some lessons. I can vouch that John did pay attention to what was being taught. Mike in Oregon
I'll miss you Chet.
My condolences to the family of Chet Atkins on his passing. We fans of the Nashville Sound will salute him always. Paul Casler Madison, Wisconsin
Today is a very sad day. I came to know Chet Atkin's music through my father many years ago. When I was a child my father played for my sister and me on his old Martin guitar. My grandfather and uncles played fiddle, banjo and guitar. I've always loved bluegrass music, but do not play myself. I'm a visual artist. Do you have any of those T-shirts left? I'd love to get one for my Dad. He's 74 and doesn't play anymore, but he still loves Chet Atkins. God bless Chet Atkins and his family. Sincerely yours, Bill Neff, Phoenix, AZ
I miss him already
My condolences to a great musician's family.. It was one of the joys of my life that I saw and heard him in person in Spokane many years ago. Sincerely, Betty Ostheller, Wickenberg, Az
So very sorry to hear of Mr. Atkins passing.... a true icon of the six string world. Bill from Boston
Mrs. Chet Atkins and family, I am very grieved to hear about Chet's passing. He has brought so many happy hours to me, with his music. I have been a fan since I was 16 years old, and have collected all of his albums , and many CD's. I am approaching my 68th year, so you can see, it has been a long time. I have never missed any of his TV shows, and have missed not being able to get any new additions during his illness. I have played the guitar, but of course, not with his experitse; therefore I can apprciate the great talent that he possessed. I would like to contribute to some kind of memorial in his honor, but don't know what that might be. Please advise what would be the best approach. May God bless you and your family, and grant you serenity. He left this world much too soon! Norm Weiss
Please accept my condolences. Margaret Johnston Cincinnati, Ohio
I was so sorry to learn of Mr.Atkins death today. I have followed his career for years. I was profoundly touched by his love of Lenny Breau. Now God holds these two great guitar players in his hands. Jack Carruthers, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Many more to come....

- Tom

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