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Guitarist Johnny Smith will always be best remembered for his 1952 hit recording of "Moonlight in Vermont," a mellow ballad that also features Stan Getz. Smith, whose chordal-oriented style was self-taught, originally played trumpet, violin, and viola before switching to guitar. A studio musician from 1947 on, Smith's impressive technique and quiet sound made him in great demand even before "Moonlight" and, although he never had another hit, he was a popular attraction throughout the 1950s. After moving to Colorado in the 1960s he opened a music store, taught, and maintained a lower profile, occasionally recording in New York. Smith died in June 2013 at his home in Colorado Springs at 90 years of age. ~ Scott Yanow
John Henry Smith Jnr.
June 25, 1922 in Birmingham, AL
'40s, '50s, '60s