"S" is for Smith, Arthur (1921-2014)

May 29, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for Smith, Arthur (1921-2014). Musician. Thanks to the widespread popularity of his instrumental hit “Guitar Boogie,” Arthur Smith became one of the better-known guitarists in country music. Like many other South Carolina musicians, he was a product of the textile mills. He started at Spartanburg’s WSPA, but in the 1940s transferred his radio base to WBT in Charlotte. Smith made his first recording of “Guitar Boogie” about 1945 with the Tennessee Ramblers. A lesser number at the time in 1955, “Feudin’ Banjos” by Smith and Don Reno reappeared as “Mocking Banjos” in 1957 and as “Dueling Banjos”  (credited to others) in the 1972 film Deliverance. Smith and Reno went to court and received royalties. In 1959 Arthur Smith started a recording studio in Charlotte—producing jingles and commercials for regional radio and television.