Chet spent many years teaching here at Rick’s. He was here six days a week. the first person to arrive and only left when the store closed. Incredibly dedicated to teaching music, Chet taught with a passion for decades. When he wasn’t teaching guitar, he was working on them as a well-respected luthier. His teaching left a legacy of well-versed guitarists, banjo and mandolin players, past students many who later in life often stopped in to visit with him or ask about him. As a virtuoso guitarist, he traveled the globe performing with a long list of world class acts during his career. (read about his career achievements at the link below)
Making his mark in history as the first white musician to tour with an all black band, The Fletcher Henderson Swing Band, Chet literally broke the reverse color barrier. For those who were lucky enough to spend time with him know he always had a story at the ready. We remember him telling us stories about the times the band played in towns that barred blacks from entering restaurants, where he was the only one able to go in and buy their food. He said there were some close calls and places they were glad to get out of in one piece. He was 19 when he joined the band, but old enough to change history.
We’ve got lots of great memories of Chet. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear his words echo in the lesson hallway of Rick’s Music… “Cool man!”
You are invited to read his full obituary here