Self-taught musician dreams of stardom
COUNTRY MUSIC DREAMS n Bo Smith holds a copy of his first compact disc, "The Piano." This weekend Smith and his family are in Nashville where he is performing and attending "Fan Fair." To learn more about Smith's new CD visit his Web site at www.bosmith.net. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 13, 2004
Bo Smith's life has changed dramatically. In the last two weeks, he became a father, purchased a large tour bus and received the first batch of compact discs featuring songs he recorded music he hopes will put him on the country music map.
And this weekend, the Lauderdale County resident has been performing in Nashville and signing autographs for people at "Fan Fair" an annual festival that celebrates country music.
Fan Fair is held at three sites in Nashville: Riverfront Park, the Nashville Convention Center and the Titans Coliseum. More than 120,000 fans are expected to attend the four-day music festival that began Thursday.
Smith will join stars like Vince Gill, Martina McBride and Clint Black who also will be at the convention center signing autographs at the famous "meet-and-greet" session.
Smith, 32, has been pursuing his country music dream for about six years. He signed with Tootsies Records in Nashville a year ago.
Smith's CD, "The Piano," features 10 songs six of which he wrote.
Like many self-taught musicians, Smith's love of music developed at a young age.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Charlie Rich are a few of the country music greats who inspire him.
Besides being surrounded by famous country music singers and executives this week, Smith also will be in Nashville with his family.
Accompanying him will be his wife, Kim; his sister, Cassandra Hollister; his father, Paul Smith; his children, Jessica and Jerra Leigh Smith; his step-children, Johnathan and Melissa Carlson; and his mother-in-law.
Hollister, who did the graphic work for her brother's CD, said she is proud of him.
While performing at Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Smith said he will focus on entertaining the crowd.
Smith will have someone give him pointers during Fan Fair. Country music singer Angela White of Quitman signed with Tootsies Records two years ago and attended her first Fan Fair last year.
Smith's biggest supporter is his wife.
Hard work and determination could pay off for Smith this weekend, but he said at least he's got his family and friends supporting him.