Byther Smith

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Byther Smith
Byther Smith.jpg
Smith at the Silver Dollar Room, Toronto, Ontario
Background information
Birth name Byther Claude Earl John Smith
Born (1932-04-17) April 17, 1932 (age 86)
Monticello, Mississippi, United States
Genres Blues
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active Late 1950s–present

Byther Claude Earl John Smith (born April 17, 1932)[1] is an American blues musician, noted for his gritty style and uncompromising delivery.[2]


Born in Monticello, Mississippi, the sixth oldest of seven children, Smith migrated to Chicago in the mid-1950s. He worked for a candy company, but his passion was music. He played bass for a three-piece jazz combo for a few years, but he eventually got a spot playing rhythm guitar for Otis Rush. In the early 1960s, Smith began to take the guitar more seriously and learned from J. B. Lenoir, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Hubert Sumlin.[2]

After years playing in clubs all over the United States and the world, a demo tape Smith recorded became the album Tell Me How You Like It, released by the Texas-based Grits record label. His next release in the UK was Addressing the Nation with the Blues for JSP Records.[3] In 1995, Smith retired from his job at Economy Folding Box Company after twenty-five years, allowing him to focus fully on music.

Delmark Records boss Bob Koester observed, "There's a mellowness there that is disappearing in all but B.B. King".[3]

Smith still records and tours frequently.[2]


Byther Smith is a first cousin of the blues musician and Monticello native J. B. Lenoir.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 119. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dahl, Bill (1933-04-17). "Byther Smith – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  3. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 167. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

External links[edit]