Chester and Lester

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Chester & Lester
Chester and lester.jpg
Studio album by Chet Atkins and Les Paul
RecordedMay 6–7, 1975
GenreCountry, jazz
LabelRCA Victor
ProducerChet Atkins
Chet Atkins chronology
Chet Atkins Goes to the Movies
Chester & Lester
The Best of Chet Atkins & Friends
Chet Atkins Collaborations chronology
The Atkins - Travis Traveling Show
Chester & Lester
Chet Floyd & Danny
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(?)[2]
The Music Box4/5 stars[3]

Chester & Lester is a collaborative album by guitarists Chet Atkins and Les Paul released in 1976.

It was recorded in the mid-1970s when Atkins was in his fifties and Paul in his sixties. Atkins coaxed Paul out of his decade-long retirement for this recording. The liner notes state there is very little overdubbing and the majority of the album was live in the studio.

Chester & Lester peaked at No. 11 on Billboard's Country album chart and No. 172 on the Pop album chart. It peaked at No. 27 on the Country chart again in 1978. At the Grammy Awards of 1976, Chester & Lester won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.


  • Both Chester & Lester and Guitar Monsters were released on CD in 1989 by Pair Records as Masters of the Guitar: Together with some tracks omitted.[4]
  • In 1998, Chester and Lester and the duo's follow-up release Guitar Monsters were reissued intact on one CD on One Way Records.
  • Chester & Lester was reissued in 2007 on RCA Nashville/Legacy with four bonus tracks.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "It's Been a Long, Long Time" (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) – 3:33
  2. "Medley: Moonglow/Picnic" – 4:44
  3. "Caravan" (Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Juan Tizol) – 3:21
  4. "It Had to Be You" (Isham Jones, Gus Kahn) – 3:34
  5. "Out of Nowhere" (Johnny Green, Edward Heyman) – 3:14

Side two[edit]

  1. "Avalon" (Buddy DeSylva, Al Jolson, Vincent Rose) – 6:32
  2. "The Birth of the Blues" (Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson) – 3:07
  3. "Someday, Sweetheart" (Spikes, Spikes) – 3:21
  4. "'Deed I Do" (Walter Hirsch, Fred Rose) – 2:31
  5. "Lover, Come Back to Me" (Oscar Hammerstein, Sigmund Romberg) – 2:44

Bonus tracks on Columbia Nashville CD re-release:

  1. "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" (previously unreleased)
  2. "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" (previously unreleased)
  3. "Caravan" (previously unreleased alternate take)
  4. "Moonglow / Picnic (Theme From 'Picnic')" (previously unreleased rehearsal take)