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 Johnny Smith

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Johnny Smith

  • Birth 25 Jun 1922 Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
  • Death 11 Jun 2013 Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
  • Burial Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
  • Plot Block 00012 000000 00000A 000044
  • Memorial ID 112323347

Musician. He was an extremely diverse guitarist whose playing and writing greatly influenced music styles all the way from jazz, country, rock & roll and beyond. A self taught player in the 1930s, he joined "Uncle Lem and the Mountain Boys" a hillbilly band, toured and later played in a jazz trio called the "Airport Boys". After serving in a US Army band during World War II, he soon became a popular musician, playing at NBC Radio Studios, the Birdland Jazz Club in New York and in the orchestral pit of the New York Phiharmonic. In 1952, he wrote and recorded the hit ballard "Moonlight in Vermont", which became one of the best-selling jazz records of its day. During the 1950s, he had his biggest success, performing with Stan Getz, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Stan Kenton, plus playing on television programs such as the "Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Arthur Godfrey Show". In 1954, he wrote and recorded his classic song "Walk Don't Run", which was a cover hit for Chet Atkins in 1957, plus a two time hit for "The Ventures" in 1960 and 1964. By the late 1950s, he deceided to retire, moved to Colorado, where he opened a music store and taught music. In 1961, the Gibson Guitar Company honored him with a signatrue Johnny Smith guitar model and again with a Heritage Johnny Smith guitar model in 1989. In his later years, he would return to New York occasionally to record and make personal appearances. He died of natural causes at age 90.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
  • Added: 14 Jun 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 112323347
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Johnny Smith (25 Jun 1922–11 Jun 2013), Find A Grave Memorial no. 112323347, citing Fairview Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .