Best known for his Grammy-winning recording of “Moonlight in Vermont” with tenor sax titan Stan Getz, Johnny Smith was also respected for his blistering single-note lines, unsurpassed solo-guitar chops, and beautiful clean tone.

Colorado Springs, CO (June 13, 2013) -- Best known for his Grammy-winning recording of “Moonlight in Vermont” with tenor sax titan Stan Getz, Johnny Smith was also respected for his blistering single-note lines, unsurpassed solo-guitar chops, and beautiful clean tone. An inspiration to Pat Martino, George Benson, Bill Frisell, Jack Wilkins, Jack Petersen, Russell Malone, and many, many others, Smith enjoyed a long, celebrated career.

Smith started his musical career working in pawnshops that allowed him to use their guitars to teach and play—as long as he kept the store’s stock in tune. During World War II he joined the Air Corps hoping to be a pilot, as he’d had some past flying experience. Rejected as a pilot due to less-than-perfect vision in his left eye, Smith was given the option to go to mechanic school or join Air Corps band. He chose the latter and was given a cornet, a method book, and a chair in the band.

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