Smith returns to Scott for holiday concert


ONEIDA, Tenn. — Memorial Day weekend in Scott County will kick off with an acoustic concert from one of Nashville’s best-known songwriters, who just happens to be one of our own.

Anthony Smith will appear at the Oneida Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Oneida High School, at 7 p.m. Friday, May 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and general admission is $20 at the door.

Smith’s lone studio album, 2002’s If That Ain’t Country, was a success, producing a trio of Top 40 hits and another single that charted. The title track was the album’s best-known song, peaking at No. 26 on the charts. Two other songs also charted in the Top 40, “John J. Blanchard” and “Half a Man.”

Smith grew up in Scott County, before moving to Nashville to pursue a career in music. He landed a gig at the Broken Spoke, where he caught the attention of record label executives, including Mercury Nashville head Luke Lewis. Lewis signed Smith, and the label produced his 2002 album.

By that point, Smith was already enjoying success as a songwriter, having “Run” recorded by George Straight, “Chrome” and “I’m Tryin'” recorded by Trace Adkins, “Didn’t I” by Montgomery Gentry and “Without You” by Lonestar.

Following his successful album, Smith continued to find fame as a songwriter when Strait recorded another of his songs, “Cowboys Like Us.” That turned into a Top 5 hit for Strait, peaking at No. 2 on the charts. In 2007, Halfway to Hazard hit the charts with “Daisy” and Montgomery Gentry charted “What Do Ya Think About That,” which hit No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

Later, Tim McGraw recorded a Smith song, turning “Kristofferson” into a Top 20 hit. Most recently, Blake Shelton recorded Smith’s “Bringin’ Back the Sunshine.”

Friday’s concert is just one of many in the Adventure Tourism Capital of Tennessee over the next several weeks. On Saturday, May 28, Lee Brice will be in concert at Brimstone’s White Knuckle Event.

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