Richard Smith was born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971. One day, at the age of five,
Richard was watching his father fingerpick “Down South Blues”
(an Atkins-Travis recording) on his guitar. The boy begged his
dad to show him how to play it, and finally he did. Despite the
fact that Richard is left-handed and his dad’s right-handed
guitar was not designed for tiny hands, by the end of that day,
Richard learned and played both the chords and the melody.
Within no time, the toddler outstripped his dad’s six-string
prowess and it was clear to all who saw or heard him play that
Richard was one of those rare phenomena -- a child prodigy.
on the music his father loved - the country picking of Chet
Atkins and Merle Travis - young Richard digested everything he
heard, learning even the most complicated of these tunes with
ease, and confounded everyone with his dexterity. It seemed
that, not only did the boy possess amazing physical skill, but a
photographic musical memory as well. Often, a single hearing was
all it took to get a piece under his fingers.
Return to Artists