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While he worked for RCA, he played on many hit records and helped fashion the Nashville sound.
RCA appreciated his work and made him a consultant to the company's Nashville division in 1953.
Atkins also began making regular performances on the WRVA radio station in Richmond, VA, but he was repeatedly fired because his musical arrangements differed from the expectations of the station's executives.
He eventually moved to Springfield, MO, working for the KWTO station.
Not only did his records sell well, he designed guitars for Gibson and Gretsch; models of these instruments continued to sell in the '90s.
The following year, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters hired him as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry, making his place in Nashville's musical community secure.
Atkins learned his instrument rapidly, becoming an accomplished player by the time he left high school in 1941.
Using a variety of contacts, he wound up performing on the Bill Carlisle Show on WNOX in Knoxville, TN, as well as becoming part of the Dixie Swingers.
It turned the girls on so he just exaggerated it a bit'.
(...) From an interview by Larry Katz (thekatztapes.com) Chester Burton 'Chet' Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an American guitarist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well.