Arthur ‘Who’ Smith 

Arthur Q Smith: The Trouble with the TruthThose who have an interest in classic country music, that of the traditional type of the 1940s and 1950s, will know that Arthur Q Smith is becoming less of a mystery.

Known for his excellent and prolific song-writing and a fondness for alcohol, Arthur Q Smith, who spent most of his life in Knoxville, Tennessee, was an enigmatic character known to only a few. All of what we know about Smith (born James Pritchett, in Griffin, Georgia) will be shared at a CD launch party to be held on Friday, December 9 at the Black Box Theatre, Emporium Building, in Knoxville, starting at 6:00 p.m.

Arthur Q Smith: The Trouble with the Truth (Bear Family Records BCD 17436) showcases some of the songs that Smith wrote as sung by those who recorded them way back when; such as Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys (How Will I Explain About You?), Reno and Smiley (I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could), Red Allen and the Osborne Brothers (Wild Mountain Honey), Carl Story and his Rambling Mountaineers (Every Time Somebody Calls Your Name), the Stanley Brothers (Next Sunday Darling Is My Birthday), and a slew from country music stars of the day; I Overlooked an Orchid (While Searching for a Rose), Wedding Bells, Rainbow At Midnight, If Teardrops Were Pennies and A Ribbon and a Rose.

Additionally, there are 15 recordings by Smith himself.

Accompanying the two CDs is a 124-page book written by Knoxville journalist Wayne Bledsoe and historian Bradley Reeves.

At the release party will be music by Jesse McReynolds, Barstool Romeos, Larry Odom, Jack Cate, Nancy Brennan Strange and Steve Horton, and there will a showing of rare films and a book/CD signing session with the authors.

So, if you are in the area why not make an early evening date at the Black Box Theatre, Gay Street, Knoxville.

For all, but particularly those who can’t attend the launch party, is a video courtesy of Bear Family Records

Look for an extended story / review of Arthur Q Smith: The Trouble with the Truth in the new future.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.