John Knowles (guitarist)

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John Knowles (born 1942) is an American acoustic guitarist.


Knowles first learned accordion, then ukulele, transposing the accordion keyboard to the ukulele fretboard. He studied guitar in high school, then attended Texas Christian University, where he received a degree in physics while playing guitar in his free time.[1]

Knowles is a C.G.P.[2] (Certified Guitar Player), a title Chet Atkins gave to fingerstyle guitarists he admired. The others are Tommy Emmanuel, Marcel Dadi, Jerry Reed, and Steve Wariner. Four of the CGP had their titles formalized by the CAAS (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society): Knowles, Emmanuel, Wariner, and Reed. After Atkins's death, his daughter gave a posthumous CGP to Paul Yandell, Atkins's guitar partner.


  • CGP member, Chet Atkins, 1996
  • Induction, National Thumb Picker's Hall of Fame, 2004
  • Grammy Award, two Emmy Award nominations


As leader[edit]

  • Sittin' Back Pickin (Sound Hole, 1979)
  • Heart Songs with Tommy Emmanuel (CGP, 2019)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ "John Knowles – Guitarist". John Knowles. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  2. ^ Chet Atkins’ Certified Guitar Player