15/03/2019: “The Jitterbug Waltz” by Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins is surely one of the best guitarists of all time. Not just for his technical ability, but for his ability to turn the guitar into an emotional weapon.

When wielded by him, the guitar truly transcends its nature as a lump of wood with six metal strings, and becomes more like a paintbrush.

“The Jitterbug” for example, is for me highly evocative of Hawaii. It’s got that distinctive twang and bend common to a certain type of Hawaiian song. In fairness, that style is well known in certain varieties of Country music as well.

Country music is really the tradition in which Chet Atkins is most firmly rooted. He does do a lot of Jazz as well, which is where this song is from. This is his interpretation of the 1942 song by Fats Waller and His Rhythm, which is very different, not least because it’s driven by a Hammond organ.

Chet Atkins’ version of the song was released in 1951 as a single.

There are a few versions around, but I like this one best!

So bewitching!

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