Remembering Russell Smith On Mountain Stage Russell Smith, hit songwriter, performer with The Amazing Rhythm Aces and composer of "Third Rate Romance," died on July 12. Here's a look back at his appearances on Mountain Stage.

Remembering Russell Smith On Mountain Stage

Remembering Russell Smith On Mountain Stage

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Russell Smith, performing on Mountain Stage in Charleston, WV March 29, 1992. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

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Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Russell Smith, performing on Mountain Stage in Charleston, WV March 29, 1992.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

It was very sad to read about the death of Nashville singer and songwriter Russell Smith. He visited the Mountain Stage four times: Solo in 1992, with Run C&W in 1993 and with The Amazing Rhythm Aces in 1996 and 1999.

If all he had written was "Third Rate Romance," he would be in my personal Hall of Fame, but he did so much more. With Aces, Run C&W and solo, he showed in his songs and his performances that rare combination of extreme wit and heart felt emotional depth. He was just a good ole country boy when he visited us. I wish he could come back again.

I won't try to list his accomplishments — you can look those up — but I hope you have time for this small sample of his performances: "Don't Go to Strangers" and "Under the Overpass" with "Spud" Louvin and The Mountain Stage Band; "Sweet Soul Music" ("as the Good Lord intended it, bluegrass style") with Run C&W; and "Third Rate Romance" with The Amazing Rhythm Aces.

Set List:

"Don't Go to Strangers" (March 29, 1992)

"Under the Overpass" (March 29, 1992)

"Sweet Soul Music" (Jan. 24, 1993)

"Third Rate Romance" (July 9, 1996)