Chet Atkins Exhibit Opens Aug. 12

Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, a biographical exhibit, opens Aug. 12 for a 10-month run in the East Gallery of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. The exhibit will be accompanied by a 96-page companion book of the same title. Published by the Country Music Foundation Press, the volume will include essays on Atkins’ life and career, including his guitars, his playing technique and his work as a record producer and label executive. The display will include nearly 20 of Atkins’ instruments, including a Sears Silvertone he acquired at age 11 and served as his first instrument, a 1948 Gibson L-7 he used in the recording studio and onstage with Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters in the late 1940s and four Gretsch Chet Atkins model guitars. Activities surrounding the exhibit include an Aug. 13 panel discussion featuring Atkins’ longtime friends Ray Stevens, Steve Wariner and Billy Edd Wheeler, an Aug. 27 concert by Tommy Emmanuel and an Aug. 28 instrument demonstration by John Knowles. Wariner, Emmanuel and Knowles are among a handful of musicians who received Atkins’ C.G.P. designation as a certified guitar player.