Goldie Hill Biography

Argolda Voncile Hill, 11 January 1933, Karnes County, Texas, USA, d. 24 February 2005, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Hill’s career was far too short in the opinion of many country music fans. It started in 1952 and basically ended when she retired from music in 1957, although she made a brief comeback in the late 60s.

In 1952, Hill went with elder brother Tommy to his recording session. A country band leader told Tommy he needed a girl singer who could play bass fiddle. Hill later recalled ‘Tommy told him he knew just the girl and before I knew it, for the first time in my life, I was holding a bass fiddle’. Soon after she made her debut on the KWKH Shreveport’s The Louisiana Hayride and joined Decca Records. In January 1953, Hill’s recording of ‘I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes’ (the answer song to Slim Willet and Skeets McDonald hit ‘Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes’) entered the Billboard country chart and became her first and only number 1. The success of the recording saw her begin to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. In the next two years, Hill had Top 14 chart hits duetting with Justin Tubb (‘Looking Back To See’ and ‘Sure Fire Kisses’) and with Red Sovine (‘Are You Mine’). By the time her name next appeared in the charts with ‘Yankee Go Home’ (which contained a narration by Sovine), in 1959, Hill had retired. (It was a case of Decca wanting to use the recording made earlier). She had toured extensively and became affectionately known as The Golden Hillbilly, when, in 1957, during a Philip Morris package tour, she met top country star Carl Smith. They married on 19 September the same year and moved to a ranch in Franklin, near Nashville. Hill, then, decided to retire to raise their family. (They subsequently had three children, Carl Jnr., Larry and Lori).

In 1968, after some persuasion, and recording as Goldie Hill Smith, she recorded two albums for Epic and gained a minor chart hit with ‘Lovable Fool’, before once again retiring. In 1977, Smith still a major star, also retired and the couple became noted for raising horses on their ranch. Many country fans regretted the fact that they never recorded an album together. Commenting years later about her retirement she replied ‘I was never that ambitious. I never missed it a bit. I was never hooked on it’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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