Cal Smith dies at 81
Friday, October 11, 2013
– Singer Cal Smith, 81, the voice behind Country Bumpkin
and other hits, died Thursday n Branson, Mo.
Born in Gans, Okla. on April 7, 1932, Smith began his music career performing at the Remember Me Cafe in San Francisco at the age of 15, but he was not financially successful. During the 1950s, he worked various jobs, including truck driving and bronco busting.
Smith worked as a on-air personality for KEEN in San Jose, Cal. before joining Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours on rhythm guitar in 1962. He later signed with Kapp Records after leaving Tubb's band in 1966. He first charted with his second single, The Only Thing I Want."
He released his first solo album, "Drinking Champagne," in 1969. The album's title track had reached the Top 40 on the country charts the previous year.
Smith's career took off when he signed with Decca in 1970. He had a 1972 top 10 hit, I've Found Someone of My Own. He began recording songs written by some of the biggest names in the industry; for instance, in March 1973, his rendition of Bill Anderson's The Lord Knows I'm Drinking hit number one.
Smith earned CMA Single of the Year honors in 1974 for It's Time To Pay The Fiddler He also had a hit with Bill Anderson's "he Lord Knows I'm Drinking. which became a number one country hit for Decca Records. In 1974, Smith scored with Country Bumpkin, the Country Music Association's song and single of the year and the Academy of Country Music's song of the year.
Smith later signed with MCA and had more hits with them. Smith released his last album, "Stories of Life by Cal Smith," in 1986 on Step One Records, where he had a minor hit that year with King Lear.
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Combs, Gill, Harris, Crow comprise one final musical platter
Vince Gill played host to an entertaining guitar pull, a show which also featured his longtime friend, Emmylou Harris, slightly newer friend Sheryl Crow and brand-new friend Luke Combs.
Gill joked from the outset that this All for the Hall fundraising show needed Combs to sell tickets, and by the audience's response, it was clear many came only to see Combs.... »»»
Concert Review: Stapleton shows his traditional roots
Chris Stapleton's All-American Road show feels like a singular mission to rid the genre of the bro country scourge that has plagued it for years. He came out with a blazing one-two punch of "Second One To Know" and "Without Your Love" and packed a stadium sized onslaught into a 9,000-seat arena. He never once veered from his... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»