Cal Smith

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Cal Smith
Cal Smith.png
Cal Smith in 1974
Background information
Birth nameGrant Calvin Shofner[1]
Born(1932-04-07)April 7, 1932
Gans, Oklahoma, United States
DiedOctober 10, 2013(2013-10-10) (aged 81)
Branson, Missouri, United States
GenresCountry
Occupation(s)Singer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1966-2013
LabelsKapp, Decca, MCA, Soundwaves, Step One
Associated actsErnest Tubb
 
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Cal Smith
Cal Smith.png
Cal Smith in 1974
Background information
Birth nameGrant Calvin Shofner[1]
Born(1932-04-07)April 7, 1932
Gans, Oklahoma, United States
DiedOctober 10, 2013(2013-10-10) (aged 81)
Branson, Missouri, United States
GenresCountry
Occupation(s)Singer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1966-2013
LabelsKapp, Decca, MCA, Soundwaves, Step One
Associated actsErnest Tubb

Grant Calvin Shofner (April 7, 1932 — October 10, 2013), known professionally as Cal Smith, was an American country musician, most famous for his 1974 hit "Country Bumpkin."

Career[edit]

Smith was born on April 7, 1932, in Gans, Oklahoma[2] as the youngest of three sons of James "Otto" and Ethel (Quinn) Shofner, and was raised in Oakland, California. He began his music career performing at the Remember Me Cafe in San Francisco at the age of 15, but he was not financially successful at first. Throughout the 1950s, he was not able to continue his music career, so he worked at various other jobs, including truck driving and bronco busting. He appeared on the California Hayride television show in the mid-1950s before serving two years in the military.[3]

After his discharge, he began playing in a band in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961, country music legend Ernest Tubb heard the band play and, after an audition, hired Smith to play guitar for the Texas Troubadours. Thus, Smith is heard playing in most of Tubb's 1960s recordings. His first solo single was 'Tear Stained Pillow/Eleven Long Years on the local Plaid label. Smith's stage name began to catch on after he released his second solo single, "I'll Just Go Home," in 1966 for Kapp Records, and he first cracked the Billboard charts with his second single, "The Only Thing I Want".[1]

Smith permanently parted ways with Tubb and the Texas Troubadours in 1969 and 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, and was later a Top 10 hit for George Strait in 1990.

In 1970, Smith signed with Decca Records, and his popularity quickly soared, starting off with his 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" became his first number-one country hit. When Decca became MCA Records in 1973, Cal enjoyed his biggest successes. In 1974, he recorded two of his greatest hits, "It's Time to Pay the Fiddler" and "Country Bumpkin," which received Song of the Year Awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

Later career[edit]

Smith continued to have success with MCA Records into the late 70's including the Top 20 singles "Between Lust And Watching TV" (1974), "She Talked A Lot About Texas" (1975), "I Just Came Home To Count The Memories" (1977), and "Come See About Me" (1977). After this he continued to have minor successes that included "The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire" in 1979.[1]

Smith released his last album, Stories of Life by Cal Smith, in 1986 on Step One Records, where he scored a minor hit that year with "King Lear".[1]

Personal life[edit]

In the 1980s, Smith invested in the Nashville Sounds, a minor-league baseball team.[3]

Smith and his wife, Darlene, lived in the Branson, Missouri area.

Smith died in Branson on October 10, 2013. He is survived by his wife Darlene, son Calvin, five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Jimmie Todd.[4]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US CountryUS
1966All the World Is Lonely Now40Kapp
1967Goin' to Cal's Place31
1968Travelin' Man34
At Home with Cal
Drinking Champagne33
1969Cal Smith Sings34170
1970Country Hit Parade
1971The Best of Cal Smith41
1972I've Found Someone of My Own5191Decca
1973Cal Smith20MCA
1974Country Bumpkin4
1975It's Time to Pay the Fiddler8
My Kind of Country17
1976Jason's Farm16
1977I Just Came Home to Count the Memories38
1986Stories of LifeStep One

Singles[edit]

YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US Country[1]CAN Country
1966"Silver Dew On the Bluegrass Tonight"single only
1967"The Only Thing I Want"58All the World Is Lonely Now
"I'll Never Be Lonesome with You"61Goin' to Cal's Place
"I'll Sail My Ship Alone"
1968"Destination Atlanta G.A."60Travelin' Man
"Jacksonville"58At Home with Cal
"Drinking Champagne"35Drinking Champagne
1969"Empty Arms"
"It Takes All Night Long"51Cal Smith Sings
"You Can't Housebreak a Tomcat"55The Best of Cal Smith
1970"Heaven Is Just a Touch Away"47
"The Difference Between Going and Really Gone"70
1971"That's What It's Like to Be Lonesome"5841I've Found Someone of My Own
"Free Streets"singles only
"Save My Wife"
1972"I've Found Someone of My Own"413I've Found Someone of My Own
"For My Baby"58
1973"The Lord Knows I'm Drinking"A12
"I Can Feel the Leavin' Coming On"2539Cal Smith
"I've Loved You All Over the World"flip
"Bleep You"63
"An Hour and a Six-Pack"flip95
1974"Country Bumpkin"12Country Bumpkin
"Between Lust and Watching TV"1115
1975"It's Time to Pay the Fiddler"11It's Time to Pay the Fiddler
"She Talked a Lot About Texas"135
"Jason's Farm"127Jason's Farm
1976"Thunderstorms"3322
"MacArthur's Hand"4347
"Woman Don't Try to Sing My Song"38I Just Came Home to Count the Memories
1977"I Just Came Home to Count the Memories"1510
"Come See About Me"2347
"Helen"53singles only
1978"Throwin' Memories On the Fire"51
"I'm Just a Farmer"73
"Bits and Pieces of Life"68
1979"The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire"71
"One Little Skinny Rib"9142
"The Room at the Top of the Stairs"92
1982"If I Ever Need a Lady" (w/ Billy Parker)53
"Too Many Irons in the Fire" (w/ Billy Parker)68
1986"I Know It's Not Over"Stories of Life
"King Lear"75

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 385. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ "Cal Smith, voice of ‘Country Bumpkin’ and other hits, dies at age 81". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  3. ^ a b Manheim, James. "Cal Smith biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Country Singer Cal Smith Dies". OzarksFirst.com. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 

External links[edit]