Obit: Arthur Smith

The movie Deliverance was a horror movie based on the idea that educated adventurers rafting through West Virginia were somehow better than the impoverished folks who lived there. But one of the movie’s most memorable scenes was a bit of music that was written by a man named Arthur Smith, who died earlier this week, which showed a shared core of delightful string picking.

Smith had a long career as a songwriter, performer and television host. He also owned a recording studio in Charlotte, N.C., where James Brown recorded Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.

The NY Times obit ends with an anecdote. It seems that when the guitarist in a fledgling rock band called the Quarrymen bungled the lead line in Smith’s Guitar Boogie, the band moved Paul McCartney to bass player and brought in George Harrison as a guitarist.

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