Hidden Gem: Cal Smith ‘MacArthur’s Hand’
I've been a Cal Smith fan for decades. It was the year I began my radio career that Cal had what would become his signature hit 'Country Bumpkin' in 1974. (A song, by the way, that Superstar Garth Brooks called his all-time favorite country song!). Through the years Cal put together a career that most artists would be envious of, with great classics like 'The Lord Knows I'm Drinking', 'It's Time To Pay The Fiddler', 'I Just Came Home To Count The Memories' and many more.
It was in late 1975 that Cal released his great 'Jason's Farm' album, and the title cut became a huge hit. It wasn't long after that, later in the '70s, I got to meet and talk with Cal when he performed in the Grandstand at the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen.
It was on that album, Jason's Farm, that I heard what may to this day be my favorite Cal Smith classic. The song is called 'MacArthur's Hand', and it was released as a single and...well, truth be known, became one of Cal's lesser hits. It didn't go to number one like so many of his great songs did, but that didn't matter to me. Every once in a while a song just smacks you right in the mind and the heart, and for me, this one did. Perhaps it was because my Dad was a World War II veteran (although he did not serve in the Pacific and was never anywhere near General Douglas Mac Arthur). Regardless, a great song introduces you to someone or something that makes you...feel.
That's what 'MacArthur's Hand' did for me.
Cal passed away in October of 2013 at the age of 81. But we still have his great voice, his great music. In case you haven't heard 'MacArthur's Hand', give it a listen and let me know what you think.