Mira Smith

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Mira Smith made modest marks on the music industry as a label owner and songwriter. From the mid-'50s to the early 1960s, she ran a studio in Shreveport, Louisiana (prior to that there had only been one…
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Mira Smith made modest marks on the music industry as a label owner and songwriter. From the mid-'50s to the early 1960s, she ran a studio in Shreveport, Louisiana (prior to that there had only been one in the city, at a radio station), and also ran the Ram label (which had a Clif subsidiary). In this capacity, she recorded James Burton, prior to his rise to fame playing guitar for Dale Hawkins and Ricky Nelson, as well as Joe Osborne who, with Burton, became a top Los Angeles session musician in the '60s. She and Ram also cut a slew of minor hillbilly, rockabilly, and blues artists, like Tarheel Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson (unrelated to either of the two blues stars who went by that name), and Larry Bamberg.

Ram went out of business in the early '60s after running into financial and distribution difficulties. A few years later, however, Smith formed a songwriting partnership with Margaret Lewis, an eclectic (although not very good) artist who had combined rockabilly, blues, country, and swamp pop on releases for Ram, some of which Lewis and Smith had co-written. After moving to Nashville, they placed hit material with artists like David Houston ("Mountain of Love"), Margaret Whiting ("I Almost Called Your Name"), and Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson ("Soulshake"). They had their greatest success with country star Jeannie C. Riley, who had country hits with their "The Girl Most Likely," "The Rib," "Country Girl," and "Oh, Singer."