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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015







Tuck Raisor Memoriam


Tuck Raiser at '94 CAAS Convention 
(photo courtesy of Ronnie Evans)

(Only video of Tuck - YouTube)


In this world there are enthusiasts, leaders, and on a rare occasion an enthusiastic leader.  Our dearly departed friend Tuck Raisor was one of those enthusiastic leaders.  He was a feisty little Kentucky native that loved Chet Atkins music, his wife Alice, and Jesus Christ more than anything else in the world.  And, wasn't afraid of standing up for any of them.  In any given sentence he would play you a tune the "way Chet did", tell you about his "girl waiting there with silvery hair" on ol' South Bellaire, and confirm his faith in Jesus Christ.  You never had to wonder what Tuck meant when he made a statement.  What you saw was pretty much what you got.

Tuck was a regular attendee at the CAAS convention and organized the first regional thumb picking club called the Kentucky Thumbpickers Club.  It set the tone and stage for the other clubs that started up around the country to help keep the guitar style of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins alive for many years to come.  He and I spent many conversations over the phone and internet sharing the joys and concerns of organizing and maintaining these clubs, and no matter how dismal the topic of our conversations might have become, at the end of each one he would always say,  "Yea, but ain't this fun?"   ----  It sure was and still is, little buddy.

For most of us "pickers" this is only a hobby (granted, a very sick hobby) where we spend an inordinate amount of our awake life attempting to play our guitars "like Chet does."  We have tried for years to "figger" his licks out off records, now the much easier CDs, tabs and video, and by stealing from each other at picking parties.  The reason it takes most of us so long to be able to play any tune "Chet's way" (and only Chet's way) is because we aren't real musicians.  We're just amateurs enjoying the daylights out of our sport, and proud to be called amateurs and Chet Atkins fans.

Tuck Raisor was the consummate amateur picker and Chet Atkins ambassador.  Nobody has spent more time "figgerin" (and stealin') Chet licks, and nobody has spent more time practicing those licks.  But, what raised Tuck to a level all by himself is that nobody (including Mr. Atkins) had spent so much time trying to teach other wanna-be pickers those licks that he learned.  He always had time to show somebody a lick, and he was always thinking how he could git the word out to more people.   ("Hey, Parmer, do you know anathin' about puttin' up one of them internet web-site thingys?"  he badgered me three years ago at the convention as he looked up within inches of my face.  I confessed that I didn't (at that time), but somehow I knew he'd corner somebody that did before the convention was over.  ---  Three months later KTPC had one.)

There are several amateur pickers in the Kentucky Thumbpickers Club that owe every lick they know to Tuck, and to call them amateurs is a gross over usage of the word - they just don't make money from their talents.  Chris Vickers and myself drove down to Louisville to attend a Friday Night Jam Session at Tuck's Place a year or so ago to "learn some licks from Tuck", and were completely blown away by the extremely high level of talent in the club.  Several players could open, play every verse and close just about any Chet tune I've ever heard - including Cascade.  All of them taught by Tuck......   I checked, but the house next door wasn't for sale.

We are all very sad at the loss of Tuck, but like I advised everybody at the CAAS convention - he would be the last person in the world to want us to sit around pining when we could be pickin'.  Let's all be assured that he is up in his Lord's kingdom now probably already pickin' with Merle, Odell, and Mose and telling them "hey fellas, yer not doin' it right - here, let me show you how Chet did it."

You will be missed, Tuckster.

Palmer Moore
Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club

To see the GFGA Tuck Memorial & more photos of Tuck (click here)