Fred E. SmithMarch 06, 2012
Fred E. Smith (Madison County, N.C.) comes from the time when nearly every bluegrass and country show included a comedian. For over fifty years, he has been making people laugh with his unique style of "southern humor." However, Smith started his career as a musician and played guitar with Tommy Millard and the Blue Ridge Hillbillies on WWNC in Asheville, N.C. It was here that Smith met long-time partner Red Rector. The two performed throughout East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. They also became favorites on the station WNOX "Mid-day Merry-Go-Round" and "Tennessee Barn Dance," as well as Cas Walker's television show, performing with Archie Campbell. After Rector's death in 1990, Smith went into retirement briefly before regularly appearing at "The Comedy Barn" in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for several years. He is now retired once again, but performs occasionally.
Written by Becky Buller and Thomas Sneed
Special Thanks to: The Archives of Appalachia and the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn.; Bluegrass Unlimited; Charles K. Wolfe; www.allmusic.com; Richard Blaustein; Jack Tottle; Ed Speer; Ned Irwin; Ted Olson; Roy Andrade; the Kiser Family; Dave Winship; Bryant Label Co.