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Smokey Smith

Iowa's "Mr. Country Music"

Smokey's State Historical Society of iowa Exhibit








The State Historical Society of Iowa took an unprecedented step on September 24, 2011, by honoring Smokey’s many achievements with a special exhibit entitled “Smokey Smith: Iowa’s Mr. Country Music.” Opening ceremonies were also historical, considering it was the first time the organization paid tribute to an Iowa broadcast personality from the country music industry.

Copyright Snowflake Enterprises,LLC 2016


   Smokey, daughter Carol Manley and husband, Terry, prior to ceremonies

Check out more pictures by selecting Smokey photos at top left. Copyright Snowflake Enterprises,LLC 2016



Thanks to Jack Lufkin, Becki Plunkett and Susan Jellinger for all their time and obvious talent that produced just a wonderful exhibit, more than imagined!

Thanks to Robbie Wittkowski, road manager and personal assistant to Little Jimmie Dickens, who literally wrote down “Tater’s” letter of congratulations to Smokey on scrap pieces of paper while it was being dictated by phone due to time concerns. Dickens said in part: “I will always treasure the many memories we made together and will always be grateful for all you have done over the years for the career of Little Jimmy Dickens . . . there were times I thought about buying a home in Des Moines to have for as many trips as I made to the Midwest to work for you.” Robbie took it upon himself to also contact entertainer Jack Greene who recalled: “I will never forget all the great times I had over the years working the package shows for you, ‘Mr. Country Music.’ Remembering my days fondly with Ernest Tubb when we were headed for a Smokey Smith concert and Ernest would say, ‘I wonder what Lucille will have for supper when we get there?’” Robbie even drove from Nashville to attend the event!

Thanks to the audience members for all those great questions, sharing their memories and abundant laughter throughout the time spent together.

 Thanks for the special messages sent from Smokey's friends.  Partial comments include:

”The genre known as country music and the name, Smokey Smith, are irrevocably intertwined in the state of Iowa . . . so much so, in fact, that it's often hard to think of one without immediately thinking of the other. I have personally known him for well over a half-century, and have always found him to be a man of the highest order and integrity.”   Bill Anderson

“Folks, be very much aware that in this industry, Smokey Smith is a giant and I’ll always be grateful to him, both personally and professionally.”                Johnny Western

"I thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity  to achieve my dreams."      Charley Pride

“Johnny and I always enjoyed working for you all those years whether we were on one of your great shows or you were on one of ours.”                             Kitty Wells

“All of us him a perpetual debt of gratitude . . . our lives are richer for his lifetime contribution to our chosen profession.”   Leroy Van Dyke

“No other person I ever worked with never equaled your professionalism and preparations for each show.”       – Sonny James

“Thank you Iowa Historical Society for acknowledging the work and         heart  of Smokey Smith, my friend.”  – Wanda Jackson

“He did have the talent to work with, but most of all, Smokey knew how    to promote that talent like no one else.”                                                                      Tracy Pitcox, Heart of Texas Records, country music historian,          Brady, Texas

“He’s one of the most knowledgeable people alive concerning the history of country music in America; he has been associated with all the entertainers, managers and promoters of the genre.”                                            – Les Leverett, Grand Ole Opry Photographer, retired.

 Copyright Snowflake Enterprises,LLC 2016