Chet Atkins: Chet in Hollywood

MAY 1959 (53 YEARS AGO)
Chet Atkins: Chet in Hollywood is released.

# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# allmusic 4/5
Chet Atkins in Hollywood is an album by Chet Atkins, released in May, 1959. The title takes its name from the fact that Chet recorded it in Hollywood. This album is widely recognized as one of Chet Atkins best efforts, and is a favorite of audiophiles because of its great sonics.
The cover notes describe this session as “posh” and state that this is Chet’s first west coast album. Although some may find the strings a bit cloying, this is a perfect Sunday morning record. Some sunshine, coffee, the paper and Chet backed by an orchestra texturing the background. The pair of blondes on the cover, both woman and guitar are classics in their own right. The signature Gretsch tailpiece and lack of a Bigsby whammy make this a very clean looking guitar. A nice addition to any Chet collection.
REVIEW
by Richard S. Ginell, allmusic
If the cover of At Home evokes the 1950s, the music on In Hollywood IS the 1950s: a warm, cozy, sophisticated album of mood music in the best sense. Yet this is not an album of film music (though a handful of film themes turn up). Rather, it is exactly what the title indicates: Chet Atkins recording an album in a Hollywood studio, as opposed to the familiar haunts of Nashville. Here, he places his often affectingly lovely guitar licks in front of full, lush, sometimes inspired string arrangements by Dennis Farnon. Sometimes, Atkins appears all by himself, caressing “Estrellita” before the strings kick in, and his fingerpicking technique appears on a piquant treatment of “Armen’s Theme” (originally a pre-Chipmunks hit for Ross Bagdasarian aka David Seville). Farnon is particularly good when he hooks onto a lush string motif and repeats it seductively on the “Theme From Picnic” or follows Atkins’s guitar in a broad, surpassingly lovely treatment of Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” — the two most gorgeous tracks on the record. For some, this record might fall under the category of guilty pleasures, but a pleasure it is, one of the great make-out records of its time.
Side one
“Armen’s Theme” (Ross Bagdasarian) – 2:12
“Let It Be Me” (Gilbert Becaud, Mann Curtis, Pierre Delanoe) – 3:22
“Theme from Picnic”” (George Duning) – 3:24
“Theme from a Dream” (Boudleaux Bryant) – 3:58
“Estrellita” (Manuel Ponce) – 2:51
“Jitterbug Waltz” (Richard Maltby, Fats Waller) – 3:00
Side two
“Little Old Lady” (Stanley Adams, Hoagy Carmichael) – 2:20
“Terry Theme from Limelight” (Charlie Chaplin) – 3:16
“The Three Bells” (Bert Reisfeld, Jean Villard) – 3:06
“Santa Lucia” (Titman) – 2:50
“Greensleeves” (Traditional) – 3:05
“Meet Mister Callaghan” (Eric Spear) – 2:23
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