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Chet Atkins Exhibit to Close Sunday at Country Music Hall of Fame

Chet Atkins, CGPNashville, TN -- The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is preparing to bid farewell to the cameo exhibit Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, Made Possible by the Gretsch Company, which opened in the museum's East Gallery on August 12, 2011. In recognition of the exhibit's July 15 finale, the museum is offering a packed lineup of Atkins-themed programs including a special program starring Grammy-winning guitarist Earl Klugh on Saturday, June 30; additional concerts by some of Atkins' friends, peers and protégés; a series of film screenings; and daily instrument demonstrations. The exhibit was extended during April of this year.

The Earl Klugh program, instrument demonstrations and concerts are included with museum admission and free to museum members; admission to the film screenings is free. Visit the museum's website for complete admission details.

Born Chester Burton Atkins on June 20, 1924, in Luttrell, Tennessee, Chet Atkins became one of the most respected musicians and producers in American music history. His unparalleled achievements were acknowledged formally with his 1973 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Atkins died on June 30, 2001, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year.

Renowned for his sweet tone and his mastery of the acoustic guitar, Grammy Award-winner Earl Klugh ranks as one of the world's finest guitarists. He was barely a teen in Detroit when he was awestruck by seeing Atkins play guitar on television. After meeting in the late 1970s, Klugh and Atkins collaborated frequently. "Earl can wail with the best," Atkins told Guitar Player magazine, "but he prefers to touch people emotionally. He reaches your heart with that romantic special something."

On Saturday, July 7, the museum will pay tribute to Atkins' thumbpicking inspiration, Merle Travis, with the concert Muhlenburg County Thumbpickers, a reference to Travis' birthplace in Kentucky. Award-winning Muhlenburg County-area guitarists Joe Hudson, Paul Mosely, Eddie Pennington and Freddie Russell will perform.

On Saturday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m., Chet Atkins: Friends and Flame Keepers will honor Atkins' legacy as a generous teacher, collaborator, and even a student of other guitarists. The concert will highlight the relationships forged and nurtured around Atkins' music, as well as the artists who are carrying on and expanding Atkins' guitar style. Performers include John Knowles, c.g.p., Guy Van Duser, Thom Bresh with Brooks Robertson, Ben Hall with Megan Taylor Anderson and more.

A complete list of closing programs presented in conjunction with the exhibition follows below:
Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, Made Possible by the Gretsch Company, Closing Programs

Sunday, June 24 - 2:00 p.m.
Film Screening: Chet Atkins and Friends: Music from the Heart (1987)

Chet Atkins fronts an ace band and hosts this concert special, originally recorded for television in Nashville. Guest performers include the Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, and others. 60 Minutes. Free.

Saturday, June 30 - 1:30 p.m.
oncert: Earl Klugh

Grammy-winning guitarist Earl Klugh will perform solo in tribute to his hero, Chet Atkins. This concert will be streamed live at www.CountryMusicHallOfFame.org. Following the program, Klugh will sign copies of his CDs and a limited edition Hatch Show Print.

Sunday, July 1 - 2:00 p.m.
Film Screening: The Jerry Reed Show (1976)

This colorful episode of The Jerry Reed Show features performances by and interviews with Lynn Anderson, Atkins, Jerry Clower, and Terry McMillan. Reed performs "Baby's Coming Home" with Atkins, and all the guests join in on "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." The live house band is conducted by Bill Justis. 45 minutes. Free.

Saturday, July 7 - 1:30pm
Concert: Muhlenburg County Thumbpickers

Chet Atkins was inspired by the complex fingerstyle guitar playing of Merle Travis called "thumbpicking." This guitar style has been developed, passed down, preserved, and expanded by generations of players around Travis's birthplace in Muhlenburg County, Kentucky. Award-winning Muhlenburg area guitarists Joe Hudson, Paul Mosely, Eddie Pennington, and Freddie Russell will perform.

Sunday, July 8 - 1:00 p.m.
Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Joe Edwards

Sunday, July 8 - 2:00 p.m.
Film Screening: Nine Pound Hammer (1998)

In the early 20th century a few guitar players in Western Kentucky developed a unique style of guitar playing that used the thumb to pick out a steady bass rhythm while the first finger played a melody. This style, which became known as "thumbpicking" was popularized by Capitol Records recording artist and Muhlenburg County native Merle Travis, and had a significant influence on Chet Atkins. This film features stories and performances from eight Kentucky thumbpickers, some of whom have been playing since the time Travis rose to stardom, while others are from a younger generation of guitarists who have carried on and expanded this traditional style. 52 minutes. Free.

Monday, July 9 - 1:00 p.m.
Vocal and Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Jim and Morning Nichols

Tuesday, July 10 - 1:00 p.m.
Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Phil Hunt and Eddie Estes

Wednesday, July 11 - 1:00 p.m.
Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Mark Mazengarb and Loren Barrigar

Thursday, July 12 - 1:00 p.m.
Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: TBA

Friday, July 13 - 1:00 p.m.
Thumbpick Guitar Demonstration: Jonathan Lee Brown

Saturday, July 14 - 1:30 p.m.
Concert: Chet Atkins: Friends and Flame Keepers

Chet Atkins was known as an innovative guitarist, as a producer who helped define the Nashville Sound, and as a generous teacher, collaborator, and even a student of other guitarists. This concert will highlight the relationships that have been sparked and continue to grow around Chet's music, as well as the artists who are carrying on and expanding Chet's guitar style. Performers include John Knowles, c.g.p., Guy Van Duser, Thom Bresh with Brooks Robertson, Ben Hall with Megan Taylor Anderson, and more.

Sunday, July 15 - 1:00 p.m.
Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Brooks Robertson

Sunday, July 15 - 2:00 p.m.
Film Screening: Austin City Limits: "Chet Atkins and Friends" (1987)

In this episode of the long-running public television series, Atkins demonstrates his trademark guitar style as well his love of collaboration. His guests include Thom Bresh, Larry Carlton, Johnny Gimble, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, and the Prairie Home Companion Band. Free.

These programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Film screenings are made possible by Iron Mountain Film and Sound Archives.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.

More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.CountryMusicHallOfFame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.bTuesday, July 10 - 1:00 p.m.

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