Every now and then I get to do a story on a true icon and a true hero. As a guitar player, there's nobody more important to the evolution of the instrument as I know it than Chet Atkins. He brought together hillbilly directness and urbane sophistication more completely and more influentially than any other picker, and he enjoyed a long fruitful career as an executive, which helped him spread his musical ideas farther than most great musicians ever get to.
One side of the Chet story which we only had time to allude to was his appreciation for jazz and his frequent gathering together of players who straddled the line between hillbilly music and jazz. The Hee Haw clip below is a great example: