April 4

Commemorating Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith on His 5th Death Anniversary

Have you heard of “Guitar Boogie?” If yes, then you are aware of who Arthur Smith is. Today marks his 5th death anniversary, and in line with that, we’ll take a look at some important parts of his career.

arthur smith guitar boogie feudin' banjos
Photo Credit: Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith/ ARTHUR SMITH ENTERPRISES

Young Arthur Smith

Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith is a legend in country music. Without him, country music would not have been complete. Born on April 1, 1921, in Clinton, South Carolina, Smith learned how to play the cornet at a very young age. His first experience in performing was with his brothers. They formed the band known as Carolina Crackerjacks. They became popular in the genre of country music, despite their first attempt was to go into jazz.

Return to Music

After World War II, Smith returned home and started his own radio program. Aside from hosting his own program, he was also busy composing instrumental music. One of the popular compositions he made was the “Feudin’ Banjos” in 1955. The song became extremely popular entering charts in the US and out of the US too. His song was used as a soundtrack on a movie but, he wasn’t credited for it. Therefore, he sued the studio and won some settlement.

Recording Studio

Aside from composing songs, Smith also had his own recording studio. He opened the studio in 1957 and in there he and his band, the Crackerjacks, recorded their songs. Other artists such as Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Ronnie Milsap, and more recorded in Smith’s studio.

“Guitar Boogie”

Before he hosted his own show and opened his own recording studio, Smith composed “Guitar Boogie.” His composition made a record on the Billboard chart as the first instrumental recording to set foot on the top of the country chart. Furthermore, his recording also crossed over to the pop chart.

Smith said that he based his “Guitar Boogie” from the older version of boogie-woogie, which is played in piano. There’s also a rock version of his “Guitar Boogie.” It is also known as “Guitar Boogie Shuffle.”

Here’s the original version of “Guitar Boogie.”



Smith passed away on April 3, 2014, a few days after his birthday.


arthur smith

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