It's pretty hard to think of innovators in country music without contemplating the career of Roy Acuff. His nasal singing style and hillbilly sound influenced George Jones, Ray Price, and the legendary Hank Williams. Acuff was also one of the first country stars to feature the dobro in his band; today, this guitar-like instrument is used by many bluegrass and traditional Americana ensembles. And, of course, Acuff was the king of the Grand Ole Opry; his name is practically synonymous with this famous music hall.
SONGS OF THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS presents many of Acuff's greatest hits. All of the tunes heard here were originally recorded for Columbia Records between the years 1936 and '52. However, this '55 Capitol release sees Acuff re-recording his favorite repertoire. The traditional "The Great Speckled Bird" and the Acuff-penned "I'm Building a Home (In the Sky)" are heard here, as is A.P. Carter's "Wabash Cannonball," complete with Acuff's vocal train-whistle simulation. Indeed, many of these tunes, including the upbeat "Night Train to Memphis," represent the great "train song" tradition that Acuff helped to popularize.