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Nov. 4: Carl Smith, one of the biggest stars of the 1950s, is somewhat obscure today. That’s too bad, because he was one of the greats. Here he is on a fine Boudleaux Bryant-penned number from 1954, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard country chart.

Smith knew his way around a honky-tonk song, and he had a wealth of them in that decade. His band (as always) sure had the groove, with Johnny Sibert’s steel providing the kickoff, and nice lead guitar work from Sammy Pruitt. (I knew Mr. Sibert in the 1990s, when he’d retired from music and was a security guard at The Tennessean in Nashville. Great, great guy.)

For years, knowledgeable fans wondered in frustration why Carl Smith was not in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That supreme wrong was at last righted in 2003. I was at the induction ceremony, whose highlight was Carl Smith taking the stage to sing his biggest hit, “Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way.” Nearly two decades after he’d retired, Mr. Country proved he still had it.

Check out his profiles at the Hall of Fame and at And here’s his discography.