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Johnny Smith

Guitarist Johnny Smith will be best remembered for his 1952 strike saving of “Moonlight in Vermont,” a mellow ballad that also features Stan Getz. Smith, whose chordal-oriented design was self-taught, originally performed trumpet, violin, and viola before switching to electric guitar. A studio room musician from 1947 on, Smith’s amazing technique and noiseless sound produced him in great demand also before “Moonlight” and, although he never really had another strike, he was a favorite attraction through the entire 1950s. After shifting to Colorado in the 1960s he opened up a music shop, taught, and preserved a lesser profile, occasionally documenting in NY. Smith passed away in June 2013 at his house in Colorado Springs at 90 years.

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