Editors’ Notes Chet Atkins was a tremendously influential session man whose distinctive playing defined the sound of an entire genre. His instrumental and production talents graced countless Nashville releases in the '50s and '60s, and the solo sides that he cut during this period at RCA are remarkable not only for their instrumental virtuosity, but also for their honey-sweet country sound and unexpected musical inventiveness. The tersely titled Classics generously collects thirty-four of Atkins’ finest solo sides. It's geared towards highlighting Atkins eclectic musical taste, and his top-notch sidemen rather than merely recapitulating Atkins highest charting numbers. While his hits were often novelty numbers like “Mr. Sandman,” Classics smartly concentrates on more musically ambitious though lesser known Atkins numbers, like the strident, countrified ragtime of “Pig Leaf Blues” or the aggressively bluesy “Oh By Jingo.” Atkins’ playing is as forceful as Chuck Berry’s, as precise as Les Paul’s and as soulful as Merle Travis’, making this compilation essential for anyone with an interest in the origins of the Nashville sound.