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Imagine (John Lennon) by Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler arranged for 2 guitars

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Imagine (John Lennon) by Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler arranged for two guitars with sheet music

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Chet Atkins

Chester Burton ‘Chet’ Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an influential country guitarist and producer. His style – inspired by Merle Travis, Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, and Les Paul – brought him fans both on and off the US scene. Atkins produced records for Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Connie Smith, and Waylon. Jennings. He created, along with Owen Bradley, the smoother, calmer style of country music known as the Nashville Sound, which broadened country music to include adult pop music fans.

Chet Atkins was born in Luttrell, Tennessee, and grew up with his mother, two brothers, and a sister, the youngest being. His parents divorced when he was six years old. He started out on the ukulele, later progressing to the violin, but traded his brother Lowell for an old gun and some homework for a guitar when he was nine.

Forced to move to Georgia to live with his father due to a near-fatal asthmatic condition, Atkins was a sensitive young man who made music his obsession. He became a gifted guitarist while in high school. Atkins was self-taught, and later life awarded him, along with Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed and John Knowles, the honorary degree ‘CGP’, meaning ‘Certified Guitarist’ (in English, Certified Guitar Player). His stepbrother Jim was also a successful guitarist who went on to work with the Les Paul Trio in New York.

Atkins didn’t have a style of his own until 1939, when (still living in Georgia) he heard Merle Travis play on the radio (WLW). This early influence dramatically shaped his own playing style. While Travis’s right hand used his forefinger for melody and thumb for bass notes, Atkins expanded his right-hand style to include plucking the strings with his first three fingers, and thumb on bass.

The result was a clarity and complexity that made his sound unmistakable. After leaving college in 1942, he got a job at WNOX Knoxville radio. There he played violin and guitar with singer Bill Carlisle and comedian Archie Campbell as well as became a member of the station’s ‘Dixieland Swingsters’, a small instrumental swing combo.

After three years, he moved to WLW radio in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Merle Travis had previously worked. After six months, he moved to Raleigh and worked with Johnnie and Jack before heading to Richmond, Virginia, where he played with the band Sunshine Sue Workman. Atkins’s shy personality worked against him, as did the fact that his sophisticated style led many to doubt that he was really a country player.

He was fired often, but was able to get another job at another radio station due to his unique playing ability. Atkins made his own records, usually visiting pop and jazz norms, in his own fancy home studio, often recording the rhythm tracks on RCA radio but adding his solo parts at home, refining it all until that the result satisfied him. Guitarists of all styles came from far and wide to admire various albums of his because of his unique musical ideas and, in some cases, his experimental electronic ideas.

In this period, Atkins became known internationally as ‘Mister Guitar’, which is also the name of one of his albums. His trademark ‘Atkins Style’ of playing, which was and is very difficult for a guitarist to master, is using the thumb and first two-sometimes three-fingers of the right hand. He developed this style of listening to Merle Travis from time to time on primitive radio. He was sure that no one could articulately play this with just the thumb and forefinger (which was actually exactly how Travis played it) and he assumed that this required a thumb and two fingers – and it was the style that he promoted and mastered.

Atkins’ biggest hit was the 1965 single ‘Yakety Axe,’ an adaptation of his saxophonist friend Boots Randolph’s ‘Yakety Sax.’ He rarely performed live at the time, and eventually had to hire other RCA producers like Robert Ferguson and Felton Jarvis to ease his workload.

A 1973 bout with colon cancer, however, led Atkins to redefine his role at RCA, allowing others to handle management while he returned to his first love, the guitar, often recording with Reed or even Homer and Jethro in Jethro Burns (Atkins’s brother-in-law) after Homer died.

By the late ’70s, Atkins had passed as a producer. New executives at RCA had different ideas. He first retired from his position with the company, and then began to feel stifled as an artist because RCA wouldn’t let him branch out into jazz. At the same time, he became dissatisfied with the direction Gretsch (no longer having family ownership over it) went and withdrew his authorization for them to use his name and began designing Gibson guitars.

He left RCA in 1982 and signed to Columbia Records, for which he produced a debut album in 1983. While with Columbia, he displayed his creativity and taste in jazz guitar, and in various other contexts. Jazz was always a strong love of his, and often in his career he was criticized by ‘pure’ country musicians for his jazz influences. He also said on many occasions that he didn’t like being called a ‘country guitarist’, insisting that he was just a guitarist, period.

Although he played ‘by ear’ and was a masterful improviser, he was also able to read music and even performed some classical guitar arrangements with taste and distinction. He later returned to country with albums he recorded alongside Mark Knopfler and Jerry Reed. When asked to name the ten most influential guitarists of the 20th century, he named Django Reinhardt first on the list, and himself ranked fifth.

In later years, he returned to radio, appearing on Garrison Keillor’s Prarie Home Companion, even going so far as to play a violin from time to time.

Atkins received numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards and nine Country Music Association Awards. As he did more and more acts, in the nineties his health became fragile and the cancer returned and this time worsened. Then Chet Atkins died on June 30, 2001 at his home in Nashville.

Atkins was quoted many times throughout his career, and in his own legacy he once said:

‘Years later, after I’m gone, someone will hear what I did and know I was here. They won’t care who I was, but they’ll hear my guitars speaking for me. ‘

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1949. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Newcastle, England, where he attended grammar school.

Biography of Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler

Biography of Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1949. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Newcastle, England, where he attended grammar school.

In the 1960s, he learned to play the guitar by joining small bands and learning from the guitarists of the time, such as Jimi Hendrix, Scotty Moore and James Burton. At sixteen, he had a duet with his friend Sue Hercombe, appearing on local television. In 1967

Mark Knopfler took a course in journalism, which earned him a job as a junior reporter at a Leeds newspaper, while continuing his studies in English grammar. In a Leeds club I met Steve Philips, a blues singer and guitarist.

Mark Knopfler writes newspaper articles about music and artists in Leeds. Along with Steve, he creates a duo called ‘The Duolian String Pickers’, combining music with their respective jobs. Living in Leeds, Mark Knopfler recorded his first demo, in a room converted into a makeshift studio. The title of the song was ‘Summers’s Coming My Way’.

After graduating from the University of Leeds in 1973, Mark Knopfler decided to move to London, to try to break into the music scene. Finally, he got an audition and two months of work in a band called ‘Brewer’s Droop’.

Shortly after, his brother David moved to London with him, and the two created a small group, ‘Café Racers’. They were joined soon after by his roommate John Illsley and his friend Pick Withers. From this union was born ‘ Dire Straits ‘, one of the best bands that musical history has given and with a sales record that exceeds one hundred million albums. To them we owe records of the stature of ‘ Brothers in Arms ‘, ‘ Making Movies ‘, ‘ Alchemy ‘, ‘ Communiqué ‘ and ‘ On Every Street ‘, as detailed in the history of ‘ Dire Straits ‘.

Mark Knopfler has also collaborated with various artists such as Sting , Eric Clapton , Bob Dylan , Tina Turner and Van Morrison .

He has also attended numerous charity festivals, such as the ‘Live Aid Concert’ in 1985 or the ‘Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert’ in 1988. In September 1997 he was one of the featured artists at the ‘Montserrat Concert’ , at the Royal Albert Hall.

In his solo career, Mark Knopfler has excelled at using his guitar to create film soundtracks. It is worth highlighting, in 1983, the album ‘ Local Hero ‘, for the film of the same title, and in 1984 the album for the film ‘ Cal ‘.

In 1987, he published ‘ The Princess Bride ‘, and two years later ‘ Last Exit To Brooklyn ‘. In 1996, he released ‘ Golden Heart ‘, an album that was a small step in the evolution of his music.

Biography of Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler
Biography of Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1949. At the age of seven he moved with his family to Newcastle, England, where he attended grammar school.

In the 1960s, he learned to play the guitar by joining small bands and learning from the guitarists of the time such as Jimi Hendrix , Scotty Moore and James Burton. At sixteen he had a duet with his friend Sue Hercombe, appearing on local television.

In 1967 Mark Knopfler took a course in journalism, which earned him a job as a junior reporter at a Leeds newspaper, while continuing his studies in English grammar.

In a Leeds club I met Steve Philips, a blues singer and guitarist. Mark Knopfler writes newspaper articles about music and artists in Leeds.

Along with Steve, he creates a duo called ‘The Duolian String Pickers’, combining music with their respective jobs.

Living in Leeds, Mark Knopfler recorded his first demo, in a room converted into a makeshift studio. The title of the song was ‘Summers’s Coming My Way’.

After graduating from the University of Leeds in 1973, Mark Knopfler decided to move to London, to try to break into the music scene. Finally, he got an audition and two months of work in a band called ‘Brewer’s Droop’.

Shortly after, his brother David moved to London with him, and the two created a small group, ‘Café Racers’. They were joined soon after by his roommate John Illsley and his friend Pick Withers. From this union was born ‘ Dire Straits ‘, one of the best bands that musical history has given and with a sales record that exceeds one hundred million albums. To them we owe records of the stature of ‘ Brothers in Arms ‘, ‘ Making Movies ‘, ‘ Alchemy ‘, ‘ Communiqué ‘ and ‘ On Every Street ‘, as detailed in the history of ‘ Dire Straits ‘.

Mark Knopfler has also collaborated with various artists such as Sting , Eric Clapton , Bob Dylan , Tina Turner and Van Morrison .

He has also attended numerous charity festivals, such as the ‘Live Aid Concert’ in 1985 or the ‘Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert’ in 1988. In September 1997 he was one of the featured artists at the ‘Montserrat Concert’ , at the Royal Albert Hall.

In his solo career, Mark Knopfler has excelled at using his guitar to create film soundtracks. It is worth highlighting, in 1983, the album ‘ Local Hero ‘, for the film of the same title, and in 1984 the album for the film ‘ Cal ‘.

In 1987 he published ‘ The Princess Bride ‘, and two years later ‘ Last Exit To Brooklyn ‘. In 1996 he released ‘ Golden Heart ‘, an album that was a small step in the evolution of his music.

In 1998 he released ‘ Wag The Dog ‘, a new soundtrack for one of the best guitarists.

” Private Investigations “, released in November 2005 and is the definitive compilation of one of the best musicians on the current music scene. Both acting with the Dire Straits group and solo, Mark Knopfler manages to produce truly amazing and high-quality work. “Private investigations” on a double CD with the best songs from Dire Straits and Knopfler himself.

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