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Richard Smith
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.

Concentrating initially 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.


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