Sign up for newsletter
 

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: We Banjo 3 beaks down the barriers – The joy is palpable when the music is of the Irish variety. And when you combine that with a typically uptempo bluegrass sound - We Banjo 3 labels its style of music Celtgrass - let's say it makes for one fun night. The group, which has been around since 2011, is a quartet from Galway Ireland comprised of two sets of brothers - the cool looking... »»»
Concert Review: Gayle, Orlando provide good old-fashioned entertainment – Although this pairing of country star Crystal Gayle and Tony Orlando may have - on the surface - appeared to be an odd one, tonight's audience demonstratively loved each performer equally. It was an evening of memorable songs, fun and funny stories and just good old-fashioned entertainment. Gayle opened the show with a strong set of country... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" 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,... »»»