Cal Smith (April 7, 1932 - October 10, 2013) was a highly acclaimed country music singer and guitarist who became famous during the 1970s. He was best known for the smash hit, "Country Bumpkin," which earned him Song of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
Born Calvin Grant Shofner in Gans, Oklahoma, he was raised in Oakland, California and began his music career at age 15 performing at the Remember Me Cafe in San Francisco. In the mid 1950s, he appeared on the "California Hayride" TV show before serving in the military for two years. After his discharge, Smith played in a group in the San Francisco area where he was discovered in 1961 by Ernest Tubb who hired him to play guitar in his band, the Texas Troubadours. He toured with Tubb throughout the 1960s and can be heard on most of Tubb's recordings from that time period. Smith launched his solo career in the mid 1960s and released his first album in 1969, "Drinking Champagne."
Smith made his debut in 1967 on the Country charts with "The Only Thing I Want." His popularity took off in 1972 with his country rendition of The Free Movement's "I've Found Someone Of My Own," which became a Top 5 hit. Smith had his first #1 hit in 1973 with his cover of Bill Anderson's "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking," which also became a minor hit on the Pop/Rock charts. He had his biggest successes in 1974 with the chart-topping "It's Time To Pay The Fiddler" and "Country Bumpkin," the latter of which became his signature song. Smith's long string of hits on the Country charts also included "Drinking Champagne" (1969), "Between Lust And Watching TV" (1974), "She Talked A Lot About Texas" (1975), "Jason's Farm" (1975), "MacArthur's Hand" (1976), and "I Just Came Home To Count The Memories" (1977). Smith released his last album in 1986, "Stories Of Life By Cal Smith," from which he had his final hit on the Country charts that year with "King Lear."
- Billboard remembers Cal Smith.
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- Country Bumpkin 1974
(This song topped the Country charts.)
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