Born: May 4, 1932 | Died: January 31, 1980 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
For sheer, heartfelt vocalizing abilities, of all the folks who stood in front of the microphone at Sun studio, Warren Smith may have been the most talented. Equally adept at storming rockabilly and the most gut-wrenching of country ballads, Smith always sang it from the heart, without giving in to phony rasping or histrionics. Though typecast as strictly a rocker, Smith left Sun and achieved minor success in the '60s as a country singer, his first love.
Smith took up the guitar to while away his evenings while in the United States Air Force stationed in San Antonio, Tx. By the time of his discharge from the service, he had decided to make a career of music. He moved to West Memphis, Arkansas and auditioned, successfully, to play the Cotton Club, a local hot spot. Steel guitarist Stan Kessler, who was playing at that nightclub with the Snearly Ranch Boys, immediately spotted Smith's potential and took him to Memphis' famed Sun Records, to audition for Sam Phillips with the Snearly Ranch Boys providing backup....