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Chester & Lester

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By 1976, Chet Atkins and Les Paul were practically in a league of their own, and here the guitar innovators go head-to-head, picking their way through a collection of jazz and pop standards. Their take on "Caravan", originally a Duke Ellington song, sounds like a snippet from an Allman Brothers jam recorded 30 years in the future, and Al Jolson's "Avalon" becomes a drag race—both legends egg each other on as they speed down the track.


Born: 20 June 1924 in Luttrell, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks. And as a guitarist, he was without parallel. Atkins' style grew out of his admiration for Merle Travis, expanding Travis' signature...
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