Country Music Journalist Hazel Smith Dies At 83

Hazel Smith

Longtime country music journalist Hazel Smith died Sunday, March 18 at age 83.

Smith’s multi-faceted career has included time as a columnist for Country Music Magazine, Country Weekly Magazine, and CMT.com. She had her own CMT series, Southern Fried Flicks, and authored the 2001 cookbook Hazel’s Hot Dish. She also spent time as a publicist and manager.

Smith, who moved to Nashville in the 1960s, is perhaps best-known for coining the phrase “outlaw music” in the 1970s, to describe the music of artists including Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and more, during her time working for Glaser’s Hillbilly Central studio located on 19th Ave. S. in Nashville.

In 1999, Smith won the Country Music Association’s Media Achievement Award. She was a 2008 SOURCE honoree.

Smith was also a songwriter, with more than 175 songs registered with BMI. Artists who recorded her music included Tammy Wynette and Dr. Hook.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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