Arthur Smith (April 1, 1921 – April 3, 2014) was an American musician, songwriter, and producer of records, as well as a radio and TV host. Smith produced radio and TV shows; The Arthur Smith Show was the first nationally syndicated country music show on television. After moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, Smith developed and ran the first commercial recording studio in the Southeast.
Born in Clinton, South Carolina, Arthur Smith was a textile mill worker who became a celebrated and respected country music instrumental composer, guitarist, fiddler, and banjo player. One of his early hits was the instrumental "Guitar Boogie," which he wrote and recorded in 1945. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song earned him the moniker Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (to differentiate him from Tennessee fiddler and 1930s Grand Ole Opry star Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith). It was recorded by numerous other musicians, including Tommy Emmanuel, and became known around the world.
Renamed "Guitar Boogie Shuffle", it became a rock and roll hit by Frank Virtue and the Virtues. Virtue served in the Navy with Smith and counted him as a major influence. Other musicians who have been influenced by Smith include Nashville studio ace Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, Roy Clark, and Glen Campbell.
Smith was also noted for his "Feudin’ Banjos" (1955), which was also recorded by Lester Flatt. It was revived as "Dueling Banjos" and used as a theme song in the popular film, Deliverance (1972). Released as a single, it became a hit, played on Top 40, AOR, and country stations alike. It reached the Top Ten and hit #1 in the US and Canada. Because he was not credited in the film for the song, Smith sued Warner Brothers, and gained a settlement. His name was added to the film credits for his piece, and he received a share of royalties.