Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith (April 1, 1921 – April 3, 2014) was an American musician, composer, and record producer, as well as a radio and TV host. He produced radio and TV shows; The Arthur Smith Show was the first nationally syndicated country music show on television. After moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, Smith developed and ran the first commercial recording studio in the Southeast.

Born in Clinton, South Carolina, United States, Arthur Smith was a textile mill worker who became a celebrated and respected country music instrumental composer, guitarist, fiddler, and banjo player. One of his early hits was the instrumental "Guitar Boogie", which he wrote and recorded in 1945. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song earned him the moniker Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (to differentiate him from Tennessee fiddler and 1930s Grand Ole Opry star Fiddlin' Arthur Smith). It was recorded by numerous other musicians, including Tommy Emmanuel, and became known around the world.

Renamed "Guitar Boogie Shuffle", it became a rock and roll hit by Frank Virtue and the Virtues. Virtue served in the Navy with Smith and counted him as a major influence. Other musicians who have been influenced by Smith include Nashville studio ace Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, Roy Clark, and Glen Campbell.

Smith was also noted for his "Feudin' Banjos" (1955), which was also recorded by Lester Flatt. It was revived as "Dueling Banjos" and used as a theme song in the popular film, Deliverance (1972). Released as a single, it became a hit, played on Top 40, AOR, and country stations alike. It reached the Top Ten and hit #1 in the US and Canada. Because he was not credited in the film for the song, Smith sued Warner Brothers, and gained a settlement. Smith asked Warner Bros. to include his name on the official soundtrack listing, but reportedly asked to be omitted from the film credits because he found the film offensive.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 1, 1921 (South Carolina), Died April 3, 2014 (Charlotte)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1945 - 1949

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor D5AB-0844 10-in. 11/13/1945 Family reunion in heaven Claude Casey Male vocal solo, with string band composer  
Victor D7VB-0989 10-in. 6/18/1947 Mountain polka Rosalie Allen ; Black River Riders Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor D7VB-2302 10-in. 12/5/1947 New York to New Orleans Golden West Cowboys ; Pee Wee King ; Gene Stewart Male vocal solo, with string band composer  
Victor D9VB-2701 10-in. 11/29/1949 One little flower Cecil Campbell ; Tennessee Ramblers (Cecil Campbell) Male vocal solo, with string band composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smith, Arthur," accessed February 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/357074.

Smith, Arthur. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/357074.

"Smith, Arthur." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 February 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/357074

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