Music

Watch Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins Make Guitar Look Easy

 

The student stood toe-to-toe with the teacher late in both performers’ careers, based on this television footage of Jerry Reed and his string-bending sensei, Chet Atkins.

The duo appeared together on a 1992 episode of TNN’s American Music Shop. The weekly series ran from 1990 to 1993 and centered on intimate live performances. Suzy Boggus made guest appearances during the old dogs’ 10-song set. Among the set’s highlights is this opening song, a treatment of the duo’s 1992 collaborative album’s title track.

Reed and Atkins’ television appearance continued a lengthy personal and professional relationship that helped catapult Reed to stardom. Reed’s songwriting and guitar playing skills impressed Atkins, a legendary country and jazz picker, as early as 1965. As head of RCA Nashville’s studio back then, Atkins’ touch as a producer enhanced the records of his chosen favorites.

Reed’s further successes as a performer, songwriter and actor made him more of a household name than Atkins by the late 1970’s. His willingness to collaborate with such legends as Atkins positioned Reed for greater fame in the first place. As both men’s careers entered their last full decade, Reed sat in with Atkins once again. This time, Reed served as a fellow legend instead of a wide-eyed pupil.

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Watch Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins Make Guitar Look Easy