Johnny Smith - Moonlight in Vermont

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September 2015 saw the release by Centerstream Publishing of Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith by Lin Flanagan.

Johnny was a famously private man. As a consequence, little has been written about him over the years, although it has been written often and not always accurately. However, he willingly engaged with the author in the writing of his 237-page biography during the last years of his life.

This definitive book tells the true story of Johnny Smith’s life from his impoverished childhood to becoming a world-class and high-profile musician, before walking away from the limelight to become the greatest secret in jazz guitar and happily living out his years in Colorado Springs, playing on the local club circuit around Denver.

Aside from a vast amount of original research through thousands of documents and archives, Moonlight in Vermont includes new and first-hand accounts from Johnny, his immediate family, his close friends, former band members, former students, and major jazz guitar players.



Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith


Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith is available from Centerstream Publishing.


Run, don’t walk, to buy this book.” - Jim Carlton (Author of Conversations with Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists)

An absolutely essential purchase for anyone remotely interested in jazz guitar.” - Adrian Ingram (Jazz Guitarist, Educator and Author)


Moonlight in Vermont chronicles Johnny Smith’s formative years in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts and his time in the Army Air Corps; his early years in New York City; his prolific live work for NBC as a full-time staff musician and as a freelance performer, arranger and conductor for the broadcaster; his years on the New York jazz scene and his rise to reverential status; his continuing music career after he moved to Colorado Springs in 1958; his music store in Colorado Springs, which became a Mecca for jazz guitarists across the US; his important contribution to the education of advanced jazz guitarists; a detailed account of his musical equipment; and provides an insight into the private man. It also contains a detailed discography of his recordings in his own name and as a sideman.

Lin Flanagan - Moonlight in Vermont: The Official Biography of Johnny Smith