Chet Atkins Country Gentleman prototype

In 1989 Mark Knopfler was in Nashville recording with Chet Atkins and wanted to meet Scotty so Chet brought him by.  Chet noticed an old RCA 77DX microphone on Scotty's desk with the wiring cut and now being used as a paper weight.  Chet asked him if it still worked and Scotty told him it would if you reconnected it.  He then gave it to Chet who had it rebuilt by RCA and was used on many subsequent recordings.  Not long after Chet returned and left this Chet Atkin's prototype for Scotty in return for the microphone.  It was built by Gibson master artisan Jim Hutchins for Chet and was one of the first of several prototypes.  Chet played it regularly.  Jim Hutchins referred to this one as "the Strap model" because he had to reinforce, redrill and relocate the strap button several times until Chet felt that it hung properly while playing.

Label: approved Dec 23, James W. Hutchins

relocated strap button

At the time that Chet gave him the guitar Scotty was not playing.  When Scotty returned to playing and performing live he used his 83 Super 400 and around 1993 for his second European tour began using the Chet.  It was initially equipped with humbuckers and a special Bigsby style tailpiece but Scotty had a Johnny Smith style fingered tail piece added along with Ray Butts custom built pickups and pinned the bridge.  After the airlines nearly lost this several times in transit he retired it for fear of losing it and had one custom built to his specifications by Gibson master craftsman Jim Hutchins.  This has now been his primary guitar.  

Fingered Tail piece

Scrolled signature truss cover

Scotty's Chet Atkins prototype features a single round cutaway semi hollow bound maple body, bound f-holes, raised bound tortoise pickguard, bound arm rest on bottom bass bout, 3 piece maple neck, 22 fret ebony fingerboard with offset red block inlay, ABR-1 tune-a-matic bridge with pearl inlaid ebony bridge base/ fingered tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl plant/logo inlay, 3 per side tuners, gold hardware, 2 custom made Ray Butts pickups, master volume on upper treble bout, 2 volume/1 tone controls, 3 position switch and Country Gentleman Brown finish.

Carl Perkins and Scotty in 1992

In July of 2010, Scotty presented his original Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar to Mark Pritcher, the president of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society during their convention in Nashville.


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