Chaplin in New Shoes

Last year, I had the amazing opportunity to study with Guy Van Duser (think “Chet Atkins on Steroids”). I’d been a fan of his style for many years, but really never tried it much.

After hanging out with him a little bit, I learned two things:
-Guy is an absolute monster in this style. I can’t possible reach his level without a major re-orienting of my priorities.

-Even if that’s true, I can still make a lot of progress and actually “kinda ok”!

While surfing youtube one day, I came across this tune called “Chaplin in New Shoes” as played by (I think) a truck driver named BIll. Bill plays great and the tune won me over in about 3 seconds.

I heard the story of how/why the tune came to be later on. It was written by a fairly well-known Nashville songwriter named Bourdleaux Bryant; best known for the tunes he wrote for the Everly Bros. (“Wake Up Little Suzie”, “Dream Dream Dream” etc…).

When Mr. Bryant was informed he had cancer, the doctor gave him the “get your things in order” speech. The first thing he did was go to the local video store (this was back in the 1980′s), rent as many Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin movies as he could find, then spent the next three days eating ice cream, popcorn, and laughing.

Afterward, he wrote the tune. He passed away (approx.) six months later.

Last summer, I lost a close friend, Virginia Howe to Panceatic cancer. Days before she passed, she asked if I’d play at her ceremony. I chose this tune.

Here’s the .pdf that shows how to play it in a fair amount of detail.
Thanks!


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2 Responses to Chaplin in New Shoes

  1. Larry says:

    Very nice job with one of my favorite Chet tunes! I read a story that Mr. Bryant’s son passed along about this song on Chet’s website several years ago. He and his wife Felice wrote this tune specifically for Herb Alpert of Tijuana Brass when his music company, A&M Records, purchased the Charlie Chaplin studio in Hollywood. The Bryants had originally intended that Herb Alpert record the tune to commemorate the Chaplin studio under its new ownership. However, they later decided it would record better as a guitar solo so they approached Chet Atkins to record the song instead. I remember first hearing this song back in the mid-60′s as a pre-teen trying to learn the guitar and Chet was my hero. (Still is-and BTW, today would have been his 88th birthday!) It has since become one of my all time favorite Chet tunes. I have also recorded it out on Youtube under “geetarman1973″.

    Thanks again for a great version of this tune!

    Larry

  2. Roger says:

    Hey, great song!
    I’m practising it at the moment, is there a way to get the backing track?

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