Marcel Dadi (20 August 1951 – 17 July 1996)
Marcel Dadi was a Tunisian-born Jewish French virtuoso guitarist known for his finger-picking style which faithfully recreated the instrumental styles of American guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed.
Dadi released several LPs and some instructional videos before his early death. His recordings featured a mix of compositions by his American heroes and original compositions of his own in a similar style. A feature of his early LPs was that they included a tablature booklet, allowing guitarists to learn the tunes for themselves. Dadi often recorded tunes dedicated to his friends, such as “Roger Chesterfield,” dedicated to Roger C. Field with whom he first went to Nashville in 1975 to visit Chet Atkins.
On 17 July 1996, en route from NYC to Paris with his band and his long time friend Serge Sloimovits, in order to continue to Munich (with Lufthansa), Marcel Dadi died when the Boeing 747-131 operating TWA Flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island. He was returning from the United States to France after being honored at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.