A loss in the family

Carl Thomas Smith: 1938-2006

We share the sadness and loss felt at the passing of Carl Thomas Smith, who was killed in an accident at his home late last week. His contributions to bluegrass were huge, as he sired and encouraged the music of two sons, Kenny and Sonny Smith, both of whom have made the music their careers. Kenny is known to most bluegrass fans from his time as guitarist with Lonesome River Band and his current outfit, The Kenny & Amanda Smith Band. His older brother, Sonny, has been very successful on the banjo contest circuit, winning the National Banjo Championship in 1998, and appearing currently on a number of shows in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Both Kenny and Sonny are fond of telling how their father “tricked” them into learning to play by carefully instructing them not to touch the guitar and banjo he placed in their respective bedroom closets when they were boys. Knowing the curious and rebellious nature of young boys, he was sure that his instructions would be ignored, and to the great good fortune of the bluegrass world, they were ignored to the greatest degree possible.

We add our thanks to Mr. Smith, and send our most sincere condolences to Sonny, Kenny, Amanda and all of their family.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.