American country guitarist, singer, and record
company executive,born. Luttrell, Tenn.
Part of a musical family,he played fiddle
and guitar as a youngster and performed
professionally while still a teenager.
His distinctive guitar-picking style involved
using three fingers to pick out the melody
while the thumb supplied the bass.
A respected studio musician during the 1940s,
Atkins became well known after his debut (1950)
on the Grand Ole Opry radio show and, in the years
that followed released some 100 solo albums
and contributed to many more.He also was (1957–82)
an important record producer and executive at RCA's
Nashville division. Through his music and
that of those with whom he performed and whom
he produced—including Elvis Presley,the Everly Brothers,
Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings,and Dolly Parton
Atkins helped shape the “Nashville sound” and
transform the city into the center
of the country music industry.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
in 1973 and received 14 Grammy awards,
including the Lifetime Achievement Award (1993).
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