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Country Legend

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Album Review

With Country on My Mind, Carl Smith finds time to walk in the "California Sunshine" and celebrate womanizing ("Wonderful World of Women") before settling into the songs of honky tonkin' and heartache for which he is known. Smith wears Merle Haggard's "I Threw Away the Rose" like an old boot, and handles "Little Ole Wine Drinker" more capably than Robert Mitchum, for whom it was a hit. Marty Robbins' "Knee Deep in the Blues" and the Browns' "I'd Just Be Fool Enough" — two songs written by Melvin Endsley — are likewise right up Smith's alley, and he fills them with the kind of weariness and defeat that make you want to reach for a whiskey bottle. Country on My Mind produced no hits and was recorded very quickly, but is yet another fine album from a singer whose way with a honky tonk ballad is unsurpassed. This is music made for crying in your drink, so pull up a barstool and enjoy.


Born: 15 March 1927 in Maynardsville, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Known as Mr. Country, Carl Smith was one of the most popular honky tonkers of the '50s, racking up over 30 Top Ten hits over the course of the decade. Smith was also able to sustain that popularity into the late '70s, during which time he had a charting single for every year except one. Smith had a talent for singing smooth ballads which polished the rough edges of hardcore country. Nevertheless, he could sing pure honky tonk with the best of them, and his hardest country was made tougher by the...
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Country Legend, Carl Smith
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