(Chris Vickers' CG above - click on logo to see Chet's signature)

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







OFGC Club History

Prelude - "Basement Pickers"

Most folks that enjoy playing the guitar in the "thumb picking" fashion of Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed are typically male, older, introverted, and are pretty much isolated from the rest of the music world – and, usually relegated to the "basements" of their homes. Which is where the term "basement picker" comes from. And, because this form of guitar playing requires an immense amount of concentration and practice to even get "close" to how Chet played it – they are always very passionate about their "sport." However, due to the fact that these pickers are sparsely scattered all over the world and that this dying art form hardly ever gets any media attention or any live performances in clubs, theaters, arenas and such – they have pretty much spent their entire musical lives in virtual isolation having had given up hope of ever finding another picker to enjoy their music with.

The Internet Helped Us Get Started

In the Fall of 1997 your club organizer, Palmer Moore, didn't know one other thumb picker and decided on a whim to type "Chet Atkins" into the Yahoo web search engine on the internet that I just got hooked up to.  There wasn't a whole bunch of hits that came back, but it did list the original "Chet Atkins Web Site" (not officially so, but it had some great activity.)  From it's Discussion Forum I became aware of many important entities including the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS,) Tabledit (great tablature software), and the existence of many more basement educated pickers like myself.

After a few posts, I got an e-mail from a guy that also lives up here in Ohio by the name of Chris Vickers.  We found out that we had pretty similar tastes in Chet and Merle music and started getting together once in awhile to enjoy some "pickin'.  Neither one of us had ever attended a CAAS convention, so we drove down together in July of 1998.  Which turned out to be the first of the rest of them.  ---  We had the time of our lives.  And, we met many many more folks just like us - and a few from Ohio.  We also found ourselves very attracted to the Picker's Clubs Room at that convention and got to know the organizers of the clubs from Kentucky (the late Tuck Raisor), Chattanooga (Bill & Gary Denham), and the hot new Georgia club (Ed Cummins).   And, we got to thinking that it might be a great idea to start a local club up here in Ohio when we got back home.  So, we did.

"Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club Was Formed"

So, in 1999 Palmer and Chris started a club with the purpose of finding "all" the other guitar pickers in Ohio and surrounding areas and give them a platform to get together every now and then to share their love of finger style and thumb picking guitar. And, to ensure that this style of guitar playing gets passed down to future generations through educating younger players.

Our first meeting (called a Pickin’ Party) was February 13th, 1999 and we had about 15 - 18 people show up. People from all over Ohio (and adjacent states) drove as long as 3.5 hours to get here to meet other players and sit in a big circle we formed where everybody, in turn, got to play a tune or lead a tune we could all play on. It was a lot of fun for everybody that came, and for many it was the first time in their lives that they had ever met another "thumb picker."

Since then we have grown to over 300 members through primarily word of mouth and some local press coverage. 

We formed a club to accomplish several purposes:

  • Bring together others that enjoy playing and listening to finger style music primarily in the thumb picking style of Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed.
  • Promote that style of guitar playing and attempt to ensure its longevity by educating both listeners and new guitar players.
  • Support and promote our local professionals that play that style of music.

Financially, we do not have annual dues or anything like that. We fund each party by asking for donations at each event.

Click here for more information on our Pickin' Parties or Membership