Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)

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"Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)" is a Western swing novelty song written by Merle Travis and Tex Williams,[1] for Williams and his talking blues style of singing. Travis wrote the bulk of the song.[2] The original Williams version went to number one for 16 non-consecutive weeks on the Hot Country Songs chart.[3] Recorded on March 27, 1947, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)" was produced by Lee Gillette, and featured Deuce Spriggens, bass fiddle, harmony vocal; Larry "Pedro" DePaul, accordion; Johnny Weis, lead guitar; Cactus Soldi, Rex Call, Harry Sims, fiddler; Ossie Godson, piano; Spike Featherstone, harp; Earl "Joaquin" Murphey, steel guitar; Manny Klein, trumpet; Smokey Rogers, guitar, harmony vocal; Muddy Berry, drums.

Cover versions[edit]

A cover version performed by Phil Harris stayed on the charts for 23 weeks, and became a number one hit in August 1947 and remained at the top of the "Best Sellers in Stores" chart for six weeks. Williams made a stereophonic re-recording of the song for Capitol in 1960 on the album, Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!.[4] It has also been covered by Johnny Bond & His Red River Valley Boys in 1947, and by Sammy Davis, Jr., who hit # 89 on the Country Charts in 1982,[5] Willie Nelson, Dennis Weaver, Michael Nesmith, Hank Thompson, Jimmy Dean, Commander Cody, (Billboard #94 in 1973), Asleep at the Wheel, and others.[6] Thom Bresh, the son of the song's writer Merle Travis, hit #78 on the Country Charts with the song in 1978.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

The song can be heard in the opening of the 2005 film, Thank You for Smoking,[8] in episode 2, "Quit Smoking," of the television series My Name Is Earl; as well as in the 2011 video game, L.A. Noire, which was set in late 1940s Los Angeles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BMI Copyright and Registration Info
  2. ^ CMT bio of Tex Williams
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 391. 
  4. ^ Music: Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! by Tex Williams. Rhapsody Online
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of Top Country Songs: 1944-2005, VNU Business Media, 2005 p. 108
  6. ^ "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of Top Country Songs: 1944-2005, VNU Business Media, 2005 p. 55
  8. ^ ;IMDB
Preceded by
"It's a Sin" by Eddy Arnold
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Tex Williams

July 19, 1947
(16 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)" by Eddy Arnold
Preceded by
"Peg o' My Heart" by The Harmonicats
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
August 9–September 13, 1947 (Tex Williams)
Succeeded by
"Near You" by Francis Craig
Preceded by
"New Spanish Two Step"
by Bob Wills
Billboard Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number-one single of the year

1947
Succeeded by
"Bouquet of Roses"
by Eddy Arnold