The new Esurance commercials have been out for almost a month now, and if you’ve watched them as many times as we have (doubtful, but maybe) you’ve likely had the Esurance commercial song stuck in your head once or twice.
Not too surprising, considering the song (or to be more precise, “tune,” since there are no lyrics), is a Grammy-winning masterpiece. It’s guitar legend Chet Atkins’s “Jam Man,” and if you’ve got to have something stuck in your head, it sure beats the Gilligan’s Island theme song.
About “Jam Man”
The track comes from Chet Atkins’s 1996 album Almost Alone, a collection of mostly solo instrumental pieces Atkins recorded at the age of 71 (and was far from his last album!). The song itself grabbed the ’97 Grammy for Best Country & Western Instrumental Performance.
About Chet Atkins
In a legend-filled genre that boasts names like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams (Sr. and Jr.), and Dolly Parton, many aficionados consider Chet Atkins (a.k.a. Mr. Guitar) to be one of the most important and influential performers to ever pick up a guitar.
Born in 1924, Atkins expressed a love of music from an early age, learning the fiddle before moving on to the instrument that would eventually gain him entrance to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Dropping out of high school, he took the first of several jobs performing for a radio station. But many people felt that the sophistication of his guitar playing just wasn’t “country,” which made it hard for him to hold a regular country-and-western gig for long. (In later years, he even recorded a jazz album or two.)
After a few more radio jobs and a short stint with the Grand Ole Opry, Atkins finally signed to RCA Victor, where he eventually became the lead producer of the label’s Nashville office. There, he proved instrumental in developing the so-called “Nashville Sound”, and also continued recording his own groundbreaking guitar work, which employed a unique thumb-and-two-finger playing style of his own invention.
By the time of his death in 2001, he had performed on well over 100 albums in a 51-year recording career.