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Cal Smith

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Biography

Cal Smith (born April 7, 1932) is an American country musician, most famous for his 1974 hit “Country Bumpkin.”

Career
He was born with the name Calvin Grant Shofner on April 7, 1932, in Gans, Oklahoma, and was raised in Oakland California. He began his music career performing at the Remember Me Cafe in San Francisco at the age of fifteen, but he was not financially successful at first. Throughout the 1950s, he was not able to continue his music career, so he worked at various other jobs, including truck driving and bronco busting. He appeared on the California Hayride television show in the mid-1950s before serving two years in the military.

After his discharge, he began playing in a band in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961, country music legend Ernest Tubb heard the band play and, after an audition, hired Smith to play guitar for the Texas Troubadours. Thus, Smith is heard playing in most of Tubb’s 1960s recordings. Smith’s stage name began to catch on after he released his first solo single, “I’ll Just Go Home,” in 1966 for Kapp Records, and he first cracked the Billboard charts with his second single, “The Only Thing I Want.”

Smith permanently parted ways with Tubb and the Texas Troubadours in 1969, and he released his first solo album, Drinking Champagne, in 1969. The album’s title track had reached the Top 40 on the country charts the previous year.

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