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Feb. 4: Many people don’t know that Chet Atkins sang on a fair number of his early records on RCA Victor. This one finds him sharing a mic with Anita Carter (daughter of Maybelle and sister of June). On his good days, Chet had a pleasant, if somewhat pitchy, voice. Oct. 12, 1949, wasn’t one of those days. But just bear with the vocal, uh, stylings and the entirely forgettable lyric for a bit, and you’ll be rewarded with some great picking from Chet and his frequent collaborators in those days, Homer and Jethro.

Knoxville-born duo Homer Haynes and Kenneth “Jethro” Burns came to fame as hillbilly precursors to Weird Al Yankovic, providing countrified parodies of pop songs like “How Much Is That Hound Dog In The Winder.” But beyond their skilled and clever sendups, they were top-flight, sophisticated musicians — Haynes a master rhythm guitarist, Burns one of the finest and most influential jazz mandolinists ever. On the extended instrumental break here, note the interplay between Jethro and his brother-in-law Chet, with Homer’s lightning-fast rhythm accents coming in at just the right times. Good stuff all around.

In 2001, Homer and Jethro joined Chet as members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Their profile on Allmusic.com outlines why they deserve that honor, which neither lived to see. (Haynes died in 1971, Burns 18 years later – on this date in 1989.) Listen here, here and here for more examples of the great music they made together. And watch “America’s Song Butchers” in action on their Grammy-winning parody from 1959, “The Battle Of Kookamonga”:

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