On August 12, the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum unveiled an exhibit titled Chet Atkin: Certified Guitar Player, which pays tribute to the legendary guitar artist.
The Gretsch Company is the title sponsor for the exhibit; Atkins helped design and popularize several Gretsch models that are still best-sellers today. Prior to the opening, the Hall hosted an invitation-only reception that included a tribute performance by thumbstyle guitarist Ben Hall, and another by Steve Wariner.
On August 13, Wariner and Chet Atkins’ daughter, Merle, read a proclamation bestowing the final “Certified Guitar Player” honor on Paul Yandell, who was Atkins’ bandleader, friend, and confidant for more than thirty years. Only four other guitarists – Wariner, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emmanuel, and John Knowles—had received such recognition from Atkins.
The exhibition is scheduled to run through June 11, 2012, and will be accompanied by an ongoing series of programs. For additional information, visit Countrymusichalloffame.org and gretsch.com.