The Early Years 1946-1957

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In 1947, when the first material in this five-disc box set was cut, Chet Atkins (still using his given name Chester) was a struggling journeyman guitarist looking for a steady gig. By the end of disc five, Atkins was firmly established as one of Nashville's top-call sessionmen and a successful producer and A&R man at RCA Victor's Nashville office, and while Atkins' skill as a guitarist is a constant throughout these recordings, what's most telling is the context of his performances. The Early Years 1946-1957 opens with Atkins' debut single, "Guitar Blues (Picking the Blues)" and "Brown Eyes," cut for the tiny Bullet label who dropped him shortly afterward (a decision ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In 1947, when the first material in this five-disc box set was cut, Chet Atkins (still using his given name Chester) was a struggling journeyman guitarist looking for a steady gig. By the end of disc five, Atkins was firmly established as one of Nashville's top-call sessionmen and a successful producer and A&R man at RCA Victor's Nashville office, and while Atkins' skill as a guitarist is a constant throughout these recordings, what's most telling is the context of his performances. The Early Years 1946-1957 opens with Atkins' debut single, "Guitar Blues (Picking the Blues)" and "Brown Eyes," cut for the tiny Bullet label who dropped him shortly afterward (a decision they doubtless came to regret), which leans towards the Western swing style of Bob Wills but with a mellower feel and more concise arrangements. Much of the first two discs is devoted to similar upbeat hillbilly sounds, though Atkins' famous air of sophistication often makes its presence known. His picking also reveals the clear influence of his friend and mentor Merle Travis, though it doesn't take long for the student to equal and even surpass the master at his own style. Atkins also sings on a surprising number of these tunes, and while he's a better picker than a vocalist, there's a warm, ingratiating quality to his vocals that's genuine and winning. By disc three, the dawn of the countrypolitan era is upon us, and there's a noticeably stronger pop influence in the material and production (and whoever suggested Atkins should incorporate an organ in his arrangements should have been sent to bed without supper), but if the surfaces are slicker, Atkins' picking (which suggests he'd been listening to Les Paul and Django Reinhardt and taking some notes) remains splendid, while the vocal selections usually have the singing handed over to guests. The bulk of the selections on discs four and five were cut when Atkins was renowned as one of Nashville's leading studio musicians, and they reflect the easy confidence of a man who was making music to please himself as much as his audience; the repertoire is devoted to pop tunes of the day, old standards, and jazzed-up arrangements of classical melodies, and the effortlessly dazzling guitar work is accompanied by the most minimal backing, sometimes just a drummer keeping time with brushes. While the selections from the '40s were clearly sourced from 78s, the remastering for the most part is quite good, and the liner notes offer an admirable amount of information on the sessions, as well as a lengthy biographical essay from Drew Kent. The result is an entertaining and compelling look at the formative years of a crucial figure in the growth of country music, and guitar fans will get a fine buzz from the first-class picking that graces nearly every cut.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/7/2007
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • UPC: 788065779429
  • Catalog Number: 7794
  • Sales rank: 79,248

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Guitar Blues (Picking the Blue) - Chester Atkins & the All-Star Hillbillies (2:47)
  2. 2 Brown Eyes - Chester Atkins & the All-Star Hillbillies (2:45)
  3. 3 Ain'tcha Tired of Makin' Me Blue - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:41)
  4. 4 I'm Gonna Get Tight - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:52)
  5. 5 Canned Heat - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:31)
  6. 6 Standing Room Only - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:50)
  7. 7 Don't Hand Me That Line - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:32)
  8. 8 Bug Dance - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:53)
  9. 9 (I Know My Baby Loves Me) In Her Own Peculiar Way - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:25)
  10. 10 The Nashville Jump - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:28)
  11. 11 My Guitar Is My Sweetheart - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:36)
  12. 12 I'm Pickin' the Blues - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:46)
  13. 13 Gone, Gone, Gone - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:36)
  14. 14 Barnyard Shuffle - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:49)
  15. 15 Save Your Money - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:29)
  16. 16 (I May Be Color Blind But) I Know When I'm Blue - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:30)
  17. 17 I've Been Working on the Guitar - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:27)
  18. 18 Dizzy Strings - Chet Atkins & His Colorado Mountain Boys (2:40)
  19. 19 Money, Marbles and Chalk - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:50)
  20. 20 Wednesday Night Waltz - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:29)
  21. 21 Guitar Waltz - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (3:01)
  22. 22 Tellin' My Troubles to My Old Guitar - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:43)
  23. 23 Dance of the Goldenrod - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:38)
  24. 24 Galloping on the Guitar - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:26)
  25. 25 Barber Shop Rag - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:46)
  26. 26 Centipede Boogie - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:38)
  27. 27 Under the Hickory Nut Tree - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:54)
  28. 28 I Was Bitten by the Same Bug Twice - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:28)
  29. 29 One More Chance - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:45)
  30. 30 The Old Buck Dance - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:24)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Boogie Man Boogie - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:50)
  2. 2 Main Street Breakdown - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:17)
  3. 3 Confusin' - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:13)
  4. 4 Music in My Heart - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:16)
  5. 5 Indian Love Call - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:39)
  6. 6 Birth of the Blues - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:33)
  7. 7 Mountain Melody - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:09)
  8. 8 You're Always Brand New - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:38)
  9. 9 My Crazy Heart - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:41)
  10. 10 Hybrid Corn - Chet Atkins & His Guitar Pickers (2:15)
  11. 11 Jitterbug Waltz (2:37)
  12. 12 One Man Boogie (2:40)
  13. 13 Crazy Rhythm (2:23)
  14. 14 Crazy Rhythm (2:22)
  15. 15 Rustic Dance (2:05)
  16. 16 Rainbow (2:36)
  17. 17 In the Mood (2:28)
  18. 18 Spanish Fandango (2:39)
  19. 19 Midnight (2:52)
  20. 20 Good-Bye Blues (2:28)
  21. 21 Your Mean Little Heart (2:33)
  22. 22 Sweet Bunch of Daisies (2:04)
  23. 23 Blue Gypsy (2:18)
  24. 24 The Third Man Theme (2:25)
  25. 25 St. Louis Blues (2:16)
  26. 26 Nobody's Sweetheart (2:15)
  27. 27 Lover Come Back to Me (2:26)
  28. 28 Stephen Foster Melody (2:26)
  29. 29 Hangover Blues (2:36)
  30. 30 Imagination (2:13)
  31. 31 Black Mountain Rag (2:16)
  32. 32 Guitar Polka (2:05)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Dream Train (2:13)
  2. 2 Meet Mister Callaghan (2:42)
  3. 3 Chinatown, My Chinatown (2:00)
  4. 4 High Rockin' Swing (2:20)
  5. 5 Pig Leaf Rag (2:30)
  6. 6 Oh by Jingo (2:14)
  7. 7 Hello Ma Baby (2:09)
  8. 8 The Bells of St. Mary's (2:13)
  9. 9 Country Gentlemen (2:15)
  10. 10 Memphis Blues (2:09)
  11. 11 Alice Blue Gown (2:05)
  12. 12 Twelfth Street Rag (2:20)
  13. 13 Peeping Tom (2:20)
  14. 14 Three O'Clock in the Morning (2:17)
  15. 15 Georgia Camp Meeting (2:13)
  16. 16 City Slicker (2:21)
  17. 17 Dill Pickle Rag (2:24)
  18. 18 Rubber Doll Rag (2:12)
  19. 19 Beautiful Ohio (2:17)
  20. 20 Kentucky Derby (2:03)
  21. 21 Wildwood Flower (2:12)
  22. 22 Guitars on Parade (2:21)
  23. 23 Simple Simon (2:11)
  24. 24 Get Up and Go (2:53)
  25. 25 Pagan Love Song (2:06)
  26. 26 Beautiful Ohio (2:09)
  27. 27 Downhill Drag (2:22)
  28. 28 Avalon (2:18)
  29. 29 Sunrise Serenade (2:45)
  30. 30 San Antonio Rose (2:29)
  31. 31 Set a Spell (2:26)
  32. 32 Mister Misery (2:27)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Get Up and Go (2:52)
  2. 2 South (2:46)
  3. 3 Alabama Jubilee (2:34)
  4. 4 Corinne, Corinna (2:19)
  5. 5 Indiana (3:20)
  6. 6 Red Wing (2:26)
  7. 7 Frankie and Johnnie (2:34)
  8. 8 A Gay Ranchero (2:32)
  9. 9 Ballin' the Jack (2:56)
  10. 10 Honeysuckle Rose (2:40)
  11. 11 Darktown Strutters Ball - Hank Snow (2:00)
  12. 12 The Old Spinning Wheel - Hank Snow (2:26)
  13. 13 Silver Bell - Hank Snow (2:15)
  14. 14 Under the Double Eagle - Hank Snow (2:33)
  15. 15 The Birth of the Blues (3:21)
  16. 16 Have You Ever Been Lonely (2:42)
  17. 17 Caravan (3:26)
  18. 18 Old Man River (2:32)
  19. 19 Mister Sandman (2:16)
  20. 20 New Spanish Two Step (2:11)
  21. 21 Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (2:05)
  22. 22 Dance with Me Henry (2:20)
  23. 23 Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (2:20)
  24. 24 Tweedle Dee (2:22)
  25. 25 Hey Mr Guitar (2:01)
  26. 26 Unchained Melody (2:26)
  27. 27 Blues in the Night (2:23)
  28. 28 Somebody Stole My Gal (2:10)
  29. 29 Shine on Harvest Moon (2:08)
  30. 30 Intermezzo (2:31)
  31. 31 Tenderly (3:23)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Minute Waltz (1:47)
  2. 2 Minuet (2:29)
  3. 3 Schön Rosmarien (2:01)
  4. 4 Tip Toe Through the Tulips (2:20)
  5. 5 Arkansas Traveler (2:21)
  6. 6 Little Rock Getaway (2:18)
  7. 7 Ochi Chornya (2:45)
  8. 8 Londonderry Air (2:46)
  9. 9 La Golondrina (2:46)
  10. 10 Black Mountain Rag (2:29)
  11. 11 Cecilia (2:27)
  12. 12 Poor People of Paris (1:58)
  13. 13 Honey (2:16)
  14. 14 The Lady Loves Me (2:21)
  15. 15 Memphis Blues (2:46)
  16. 16 Oh by Jingo (1:53)
  17. 17 Hello Ma Baby (2:34)
  18. 18 Indian Love Call (2:57)
  19. 19 Alice Blue Gown (2:20)
  20. 20 Third Man Theme (3:05)
  21. 21 Blue Gypsy (2:58)
  22. 22 St. Louis Blues (3:00)
  23. 23 Dance of the Golden Rod (2:01)
  24. 24 Gavotte in D (1:42)
  25. 25 Malaguena (2:46)
  26. 26 Glow Worm (2:14)
  27. 27 In the Mood (2:18)
  28. 28 Heartaches (2:07)
  29. 29 Swedish Rhapsody (2:33)
  30. 30 Waltz in A Flat (1:48)
  31. 31 Adelita (1:38)
  32. 32 Petite Waltz (2:48)
  33. 33 Liza (2:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chet Atkins Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Jethro Burns Mandolin, Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Hank Snow Guitar
Anita Kerr Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Grady Martin Guitar
Anita Carter Bass, Bass Guitar
Rosalie Allen Vocals
Harold Bradley Rhythm Guitar
Ray Edenton Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Buddy Harman Drums
Homer Haynes Guitar, Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Millie Kirkham Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Phil Kraus Drums
Ernest Ernie Newton Bass
Ernie Newton Bass, Bass Guitar
D.F. Potter Fiddle
Brock Speer Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Jerry Byrd Bass, Guitar, Steel Guitar
Farris Coursey Drums
Marvin Hughes Organ, Piano, Celeste
Dale Potter Fiddle
Fran Carroll Bass
Jack Shook Guitar, Vocals
Helen Carter Vocals
James Atkin Guitar
Danny Dill Vocals
Bud Isaacs Steel Guitar
Louis Innis Guitar, Harmonica, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Al Chernet Guitar
Joe Bussard Help
Johnny Degeorge Drums
Elbert R. "Dutch" McMillan Clarinet
Harold Siegel Bass
Randy Lanham Guitar
Malcolm Gold Organ, Piano
Joe Biviano Accordion
Sister Billie Rose Atkins Vocals
George Warren Barnes Guitar
M. Patrick Hughes Organ, Piano
Charles Hurta Fiddle
Red Kirk Vocals
Jimmy Atkins & His Pinetoppers Guitar
Aaron Kerr Organ
Beasley Singers Vocals
Donna Colleen Vocals
Austin Footrell Vocals, Choir, Chorus
"Papa" John Gordie Piano, Celeste
Angus P Klein Accordion
Buck Lambert Fiddle
"Holly" Swanson Bass, Bass Guitar
D Potter Fiddle
Charles Hurta Fiddle
Kerr Organ
Harold Siegel Bass Guitar
Bob L. Moore Bass Guitar
C R Grean Bass Guitar
Midred Kirkham Vocals
D Dill Vocals
M Gold Organ
H Ray Bradley Guitar
'Sister' Billie Rose Atkins Vocals
The Beasley Singers Vocals
'Red' Kirk Vocals
Colleen And Donna Wilson (The Beaver Valley Sweethearts) Vocals
Johnnie deGeorge Drums
F Carroll Bass Guitar
Joe Biviano Accordion
M Hughes Organ
R Lanham Guitar
Ernest Newton Bass Guitar
James Atkins Guitar
Technical Credits
Chet Atkins Duet
Hank Snow Duet
Drew Kent Sleeve Notes
Donna Colleen Duet
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