Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We're tired of eulogies. 'Spose it's rather inevitable, at this point. I'm not sure what we'll do with ourselves if we ever had to write up a notice on the passing of Tom or Shane. If we're lucky, we'll go first.
This is almost two weeks late, but we couldn't let the death of Carl Smith go without notice at this here spot.
His bio can be found at the link above, and it's well worth checking out. A couple things of note: "his hardest country was made tougher by the addition of a drum kit. Smith was one of the very first country artists to regularly perform with a drummer, and though it earned him criticism at the time, the hard-driving sound of those up-tempo numbers proved to be influential." And, he was married to June Carter (pre-Johnny) and was father to Carlene Carter.
Smith was the kind of Country we're constantly bemoaning the lack of these days. He could be tender and tough, a balladeer and a Western swingster, a Honkey Tonker with a river of tears in his shot glass, boot-scootin' and moon-moanin'. His 50's work is the most significant, when he racked up more than 30 Top Ten hits, notably "Hey Joe!", "Loose Talk", and "Kisses Don't Lie". While his popularity waned in the subsequent decades, we think his work in the 70's for Hickory were pretty swell, as he adjusted his style (and subject matter) just enough for the decade, but never sacrificed his honky tonk heart.
The Country and Western is littered with bejeweled stars, and Carl Smith occupied a corner of that constellation. It's a corner we're happy to rest in here at the Mountain.
Check out some swell Carl Smith tunes, then, and raise a toast to a life lived and songs sung.
Carl Smith: Loose Talk (mp3)
Carl Smith: Drinking Champagne (mp3)
Carl Smith: This Kind of Love Aint Meant For Sunday School (mp3)
Carl Smith: There's A Bottle Where She Used To Be (mp3)
Please support your local, independent Honky Tonkers.