Cal Smith (born April 7, 1932) is an American country musician, most famous for his 1974 hit "Country Bumpkin."
He was born with the name Calvin Grant Shofner on April 7, 1932, in Gans, Oklahoma, and was raised in Oakland California. He began his music career performing at the 'Remember Me Cafe' in San Francisco at the age of fifteen, but he was not financially successful at first. Throughout the 1950s, he was not able to continue his music career, so he worked at various other jobs, including truck driving and bronco busting. He appeared on the California Hayride television show in the mid-1950s before serving two years in the military.
After his discharge, he began playing in a band in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961, country music legend Ernest Tubb heard the band play and, after an audition, hired Smith to play guitar for the Texas Troubadours. Thus, Smith is heard playing in most of Tubb's 1960s recordings. Smith's stage name began to catch on after he released his first solo single, "I'll Just Go Home," in 1966 for Kapp Records, and he first cracked the Billboard charts with his second single, "The Only Thing I Want."
Smith permanently parted ways with Tubb and the Texas Troubadours in 1969, and he released his first solo album, Drinking Champagne, in 1969. The album's title track had reached the Top 40 on the country charts the previous year.
In 1970, Smith signed with Decca Records, and his popularity quickly soared, starting off with his 1972 top 10 hit, "I've Found Someone of My Own." He began recording songs written by some of the biggest names in the industry; for instance, in March 1973 his rendition of Bill Anderson's "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking" became his first number-one country hit. When Decca became MCA Records in 1973, Cal enjoyed his biggest successes. In 1974, he recorded two of his greatest hits, "It's Time to Pay the Fiddler" and "Country Bumpkin," which received Song of the Year Awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
Cal continued to have success with MCA Records into the late 70's including the Top 20 singles "Between Lust And Watching TV" (1974), "She Talked A Lot About Texas" (1975), "I Just Came Home To Count The Memories" (1977), and "Come See About Me" (1977). After this he continued to have minor successes that included "The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire" in 1979.
Cal released his last album, 'Stories of Life' by Cal Smith, in 1986 on Step One Records, where he scored a minor hit that year with "King Lear".
Smith and his wife, Darlene, now reside in the Branson, Missouri area, where they pass a great deal of their time fishing.
Cal Smith died in Branson on October 10, 2013.
He is survived by Darlene, his son Calvin, five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Jimmie Todd.
1999 — Cal Smith
1994 — Lord Knows I'm Drinking
1986 — A Touch Away
1986 — Stories of Life by Cal Smith
1983 — Turn Me Loose
1977 — I Just Came Home to Count the Memories
1976 — Jason's Farm
1975 — Cal's Country
1975 — My Kind of Country
1975 — It's Time to Pay the Fiddler
1974 — Country Bumpkin
1973 — Cal Smith
1972 — I've Found Someone of My Own
1971 — The Best of Cal Smith
1969 — Drinking Champagne
1968 — Travelin' Man
1967 — Goin' to Cal's Place
1967 — All the World Is Lonely Now