“Country Bumpkin” Singer Dies

“Country Bumpkin” singer Cal Smith has passed away at the age of 81 in Branson, Mo., according to Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper.

Born Calvin Grant Shofner in Oklahoma, Cal was actually raised in San Jose, Calif. As an adult he performed in nightclubs and worked as a disc jockey before Ernest Tubb hired him to play guitar for the Texas Troubadours in the early 1960s.

In the mid-1960s, he left the Troubadours to start his own solo career. In the 1970s he broke through with his first No. 1 hit, “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,” which he followed up with the popular “Country Bumpkin,” which went on to earn CMA Single of the Year and Song of the Year awards in 1974.

Rod Sisco
rodsisco@wqsb.com