Country Music Hall of Fame’s Carl Smith Dies

carlCountry Music Hall of Fame inductee Carl Smith died Saturday, Jan. 16 at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 82 and was known as one of the most successful country singers of the 1950s.

Growing up in the East Tennessee town of Maynardville, Smith learned to play guitar and eventually joined the military. He came to Nashville in 1950 and was soon given a regular spot on WSM and appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.

His first hit came in 1951 with “Let’s Live A Little,” followed by “Mr. Moon,” “If Teardrops Were Pennies” and many more over the next few years, resulting in a string of Top Twenty singles. “Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way,” was his biggest-selling single.

In 1957 Smith married Goldie Hill, a rising country singer who gave up her career following their wedding. In the 1970‘s Smith followed suit, and retired to a horse farm in Franklin. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

Smith was married to June Carter from about 1952–1956, and they had daughter Carlene Carter.

He was preceded in death by wife Goldie Hill. He is survived by sons, Carl M. (Pam) Smith, Jr. and Dean (Tammy) Smith; daughters, Lori Lynn Smith and Carlene Carter (Joe) Breen; twelve grandchildren; and twelve great grandchildren.

Visitation will be tonight (1/18) from 5-8 p.m. at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. The funeral will be tomorrow (1/19) at 11 a.m., with visitation preceding from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., also at Williamson Memorial with Eddie Stubbs and Friends officiating. Interment at Williamson Memorial Gardens. Honorary Pallbearers will be Little Jimmy Dickens, Bobby Bare, Keith Bilbrey and Charlie Dick.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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