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Smith Brothers
Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame (1988)
WAGA Atlanta, GA

About The Group

Smith Brothers, Smitty and Tennessee The Smith Brothers, Smitty and Tennessee, were born in a small town called Oneida, Tennessee into a musical family. The boys learned to sing the gospel and folk tunes that were familiar to the local folks back then. The Smith Brothers were a gospel duet team. They did numerous personal appearances in the Southern region of the United States as well as recording for Capitol records.

They were born in Oneida, Tennessee. They were at first with the group called the Sunshine Boys.

The Smith Brothers found themselves in Hollywood for a time. During their four years, mostly with the Columbia studio, they appeared in 17 films. They were said to especially be proud of their work with Charles Starrett in the "Durango Kid" series.

But television was coming onto the scene and the brothers wanted to see what it would offer them. They heard that WSB-TV was to become Atlanta and the south's first television station. In fact, it went on the air in September 1948. The Smith Brothers made a favorable impression with the station manager and program director and became the first musical act and thus, the first "live" television show in Atlanta.

Soon, Atlanta had a new station - WAGA-TV. Smitty and Tennessee put their heads together again and thought they could have a bigger and better show. Evidently they couldn't convince the folks at WSB-TV, so they switched to WAGA-TV. They went on the air with folks such as Boots Woodall, Paul Rice and announcer Jon Farmer, doing a 75-minute daily show called "TV Ranch". The show gained immediate popularity with the fans and in 1952, the folks who read Atlanta's "TV Digest" voted "TV Ranch" their favorite local music show.

Around this time, they recorded four sides for an independent record label. The records sold well and word got back to Ken Nelson of Capitol Records who convinced them to sign a recording contract with Capitol.

Their popularity continued to gain momentum in Atlanta. WAGA-TV gave them another daily show at 5:45pm which they did alone, singing their familiar duets and gospel melodies.

A 1954 article notes that the brothers were well qualified and talented enough to play Western swing and popular music, but their real interest was in the Gospel songs.

In 1955, they were still on WAGA-TV in Atlanta but it appears the show had a new name, T-V Wranglers. Many of their recordings it was said were written by members of the T-V Wranglers.

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup; No. 26; October 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Cowboy Songs; No. 31; January-February 1954; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country & Western Jamboree; July 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; April 1956; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; June 1956; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; January 1957; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Rustic Rhythm; Vol. 1, No. 6; September 1957; Rustic Rhythm, Inc.; New York, NY

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

 
Capitol
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  13444 A The Sure Hand Of The Lord
  13444 B Live, Live For Jesus
  2492 A The Sinner's Dream
  2492 B I Have But One Goal
  2582 A Little Orphan Boy
  2582 B I'm Gonna Sail Away
  2697 A Walking With The King
  2697 B I Believe There's A Heaven
  2881 A God's Rocket Ship
  2881 B I'm Saved
  3395 A Heaven Bound
  3395 B Just A Rose Will Do
 
Mercury
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  6399 A Happy Birthday
  6399 B I'm Getting Ready
 
Victor
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  VI40201 A My Mother Is Waiting For Me In Heaven Above
  VI40201 B She Has Climbed The Golden Stairs


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