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Cal Smith Dead at 81

Cal Smith

Country singer Cal Smith has passed away. He was 81 years old.

The Oklahoma native, best known for his 1974 hit, ‘Country Bumpkin,’ died Thursday (Oct. 10) in Branson, Mo.

Smith had several other hits to his credit, including his version of Bill Anderson‘s song ‘The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,’ ‘It’s Time to Pay the Fiddler’ and ‘I’ve Found Someone of My Own.’

‘Country Bumpkin’ was the CMA Single of the Year and Song of the Year, and the ACM Single of the Year.

Born Calvin Grant Shofner in Gans, Okla., the former truck driver worked as a disc jockey before he began his illustrious music career by performing in Ernest Tubb‘s Texas Troubadours in 1961. He recorded 16 albums in his career. His last album, ‘Stories of Life,’ was released in 1986.

According to Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, he spent his later years with his wife, Darlene. But even in retirement he helped bring about a career revival for Loretta Lynn, whose 2004 album ‘Van Lear Rose’ was produced by White Stripes front man Jack White. The album featured ‘Portland, Oregon,’ a duet between White and Lynn that was inspired by a long-ago night when Lynn and Smith had a drink together at a Portland Holiday Inn.

Smith is survived by his Darlene, five children and 15 great-grandchildren.

The Boot extends our condolences to his family.

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