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Chet Atkins Country Allstars are fun!


I recently acquired some recordings of Chet Atkins and his Country Allstars, a casual band put together in the 1950s for occasional recordings - not sure whether they gigged or not. The tracks I heard are from an album called 'Jazz from the Hills'. I've played a couple of the tunes from it quite often over the years in different arrangements in various bands, so I thought I would do one in the style of Chet's Allstar band. I did this fairly quickly in two sessions - I did my own thing with it and had lots of fun doing it. I love the combination of jazz and country styles, I'm sure I'll be working on some more of this kind of thing soon :)

The Allstars btw included, apart from Chet himself, several other fine musicians including among others Hank Garland, George Barnes and Homer and Jethro - great music!

My version of the tune, which is btw a traditional jazz tune called Royal Garden Blues, is HERE


NSM, that was absolutely TERRIFIC!


That is quite an album and is a window on what talent was there during that period.

The studio musicians were, if anything, overqualified because most of what they recorded was marketable formulaic music. Like the data seems to indicate those cuts were made while the musicians were waiting for the next artist to show up. They stretched out and 'traded fours" knowing full well it wasn't marketable. The general buying public doesn't spend a lot of money on guitar intsrumental stuff. It is amazing that the tapes were saved at all. RE: "overqualified." If you use "overqualified" musicians you get fewer mistakes.

It's business...

On the linked forum someone posted

"...I was reading the book about Atkins guitars and in it he mentions doing a daily radio show on WSM-just Atkins and Jerry Byrd. Man, would you like to hear some of that!!..."

Chet and Jerry did, indeed do a regular radio show called "Two Guitars" but as I recall, Jerry Byrd, for whatever reason, destroyed most of the transcriptions of that show.


Thanks Neil, the first time I heard that tune was a 78 I bought as a kid by Bix Beiderbeck, I always wanted to play the cornet like him but when I tried as a teenager the ring around my lips, the constant numb feeling, and the aching cheeks put me off :D


Nice article, Deed. I liked the "Chuck Akers" part. And then there was that peach juice...

The part about Hank Garland playing on Duane's session kinda tore at the heart strings a little. Sounds like it is a true story.

NSM, that was some pretty hot picking. Chet was on fire back in those days, and as Jerry Byrd said in the article that Deed linked to, "...we weren't try to outplay each other. We were just trying to make a living." You did it all justice, Sir. Very nice.


It is a true story, but I was completely surprised to see it in this piece that I had linked to...Jerry Byrd was a genius of the steel guitar. We saw him in Hawaii many years ago, when he was doing the live radio show Hawaii Calls. Sometimes I am just amazed at the things I have been able to see and hear.

Yes, Duane loved Hank Garland. All the guys did.


Some fascinating history from those links Deed, thanks a lot for posting them. I'm interested to see that on the album cover you posted, Hank Garland's name is not mentioned? Was Hank on the album? Some of the playing on the tracks I have sound like him, but they could also possibly be George Barnes.

Thanks also for the kind comments from folks :)

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