It’s a long way from the Hartco Flooring plant in Oneida, Tenn. to Music Row in Nashville. But Anthony Smith made it, and along the way has developed a reputation as one of the best songwriters in the business.
Ralph Anthony Smith was born and raised in Scott County. He traces his musical interests back to the age of five, and by the age of nine he had joined his first band. By age 12, he was arranging music at his church. Later, Smith was a part of several other hands before Luke Lewis — the boss of Mercury Nashville records — received a demo tape of his music and signed him to a record deal.
Smith’s debut album, If That Ain’t Country, produced three Top 40 singles on the Billboard country charts. As a songwriter, Smith has written more than 250 songs that have been recorded by other Nashville artists.
Among the songs that Smith has written are “Run” and “Cowboys Like Us” by George Strait, “I’m Tryin'” and “Chrome” by Trace Adkins, “Didn’t I” and “What Do Ya Think About That” by Montgomery Gentry, and “What Brothers Do” by Confederate Railroad.
His list also includes “My Worst Fear” by Rascal Flatts, “Kristofferson” by Tim McGraw, “Chasing Down a Good Time” by Randy Houser, “Bringing Back the Sunshine” by Blake Shelton, “John J. Blanchard” by Tommy Shane Steiner, and many more.
Smith eventually left Mercury Nashville and, in 2010, formed his own label, Krankit Records. His first single under his own label was “Love Is Love Is Love.”
These days, Smith continues to write songs and tour. He returns to Scott County annually for a concert at the Oneida Performing Arts Center. He also played the inaugural White Knuckle Event at Brimstone Recreation.