2004  Legend Member

                                          Mac Atcheson

He was an amazing man.

You know the phrase "broke the mold", well I can promise you they did after him. He was an artist of life, he thirsted for it, and he left this world as beautiful a person as he came into it. 

Stephen Houser

He was unique, multitalented.

His touch made a smooth, pure sound like no other.


In 1997, the Atlanta Steel Guitar Extravaganza honored Mr. Mac Atcheson, not only for his playing ability but also for his willingness to share with his peers. His instrument of choice was acoustic guitar; however, he was more or less forced into playing steel guitar for the hillbilly band he performed with in the 1940s. According to many, he literally became a master.

Mr. Atcheson was a Paulding County native; and according to Mac’s wife, Navonia Atcheson, he joined the Peachtree Cowboys in 1948. They performed daily on WSB-TV from 11:30 a.m. until noon and Saturdays on WSB radio. He also played clubs like the Covered Wagon at 14th and Peachtree streets.

He left the Peachtree Cowboys in 1984 but continued playing with the Swinging Texans. It was there that Mr. Ferguson, a bass player, met him filling in one night with the band. "I was an enthusiastic kid who wanted to learn steel guitar but couldn't afford one," Mr. Ferguson said. "He sent me home with his steel guitar and said, 'I want you to learn to play it.' I still play it today."

A broader public knew Mr. Atcheson's talent, whether they realized it or not, from the sets he designed and built for WSB-TV. He joined the TV station in 1950 and designed sets for its news shows, including "Today in Georgia," until his retirement in 1986.

Mr. Atcheson designed and made furniture, painted some, was a photographer and graphic designer and took up the computer a few years before his death. Most recently, Mr. Atcheson was making miniature ships out of scrap wood donated by Bill Ferguson. Bill said he would take just slivers of wood and build a model ship, no pattern, I mean detailed model ships.”

He was a very forward thinking man. He loved music and even late in his life I would take him CDs of modern jazz and classical music and he would just beam when we would listen to great players. He was a mechanical genius and would help me any time I had a question. I always say that Mac is a fellow that I did not meet early enough in my life. He had so much knowledge about steel guitar, music, electronics---just amazing. I wish I could have known him much earlier so I could have learned more from him.   Bill Hatcher

Mr. Mac Atcheson was buried today (Amy and Mike's Grandfather, Susan's Dad), and the funeral was very eye-opening to me. Though I knew he was a very creative and capable person, I never really knew that he was one of the greatest steel guitar players that has ever lived. They played a recording of him playing amazing grace on the steel guitar, and it was quite surreal to think he was the one actually playing it. Mike's addition to the funeral was a letter he'd written, and it was the most heart-felt verse that I've ever heard him speak. He said his original version was 30 some odd pages, but the 2-3 that it was condensed down to flow with the same continuity of the notes from Mac's guitar. The tiny ships that Mr. Atcheson made us all will be a constant reminder that we will all sail away from this world at some point. I feel as though I cheated myself by not getting to know him better. He was that kind of person.  Josh

                               Mac Atchenson, Herb Remington & Rick Allbright                                      Mac with son, Keith

           Below (left to right) THE Jack Greene (on drums), unknown, Roy Gentry (guitar), Dude King (guitar)   Front:  Bobby Atcheson (fiddle) Rural Parker (fiddle), Mac Atcheson (steel guitar)


Mac with brother Bobby  




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