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Earl Klugh 

When: Sat., June 30, 1:30 p.m. 2012
As a kid, nylon string jazz guitarist Earl Klugh thought you had to sing if you were going to play guitar — and singing wasn’t his thing — until he saw Chet Atkins on the tube. Twelve years old may seem a little young to appreciate the smooth, sophisticated country-to-Django span of Atkins’ solo discography, but Klugh ate it up. By the time he got his own deal with Blue Note, he’d tired of idolatry from afar, and asked his manager — whom he shared with Kris Kristofferson — to help him meet the man. They wound up playing on each other’s albums and appeared together on a PBS special and even on Hee Haw, including the joke-cracking pop-up-in-the-cornfield segment. When the Country Hall of Fame and Museum started assembling an Atkins exhibit, Klugh offered a guitar the elder jazzhead had given him as a gift. Says Klugh, “In his inscription, he basically said, ‘I’m giving this to you, because I know that this was the first classical guitar you heard that got you on your way.’ ”
— Jewly Hight

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