The Lord’s Last Supper

Reno and Smiley

We’ve been on a Reno & Smiley kick for the last few weeks. Don Reno and Red Smiley as individuals were talented musicians and vocalists…but it was the music they made together that thrills our hearts and ears.

Paul started our kick when he discovered someone had uploaded the entire album-16 Greatest Gospel Hits by Reno and Smiley to youtube. We listened to a few songs and got to talking about how prominent and distinctive Smiley’s guitar runs are and wondering how many guitarists learned their first run from his playing. Paul uses the ‘Smiley’ run as well as various variations of it-and it’s probably one of the first ones he taught Chatter to play.

We also got to talking about how Don Reno wrote tons of songs, I’m Using my Bible for a Road Map is probably his most famous song. Most of his songs have fallen by the way and no one really sings them much today.

One thing led to another and Pap and Paul decided it was time they took one of Reno and Smiley’s old songs out and blew the dust off. Check out their version of The Lord’s Last Supper one of our favorite Reno and Smiley songs written by Don Reno. We filmed it a few weeks before Pap’s accident.

That was a real toe-tapper! Hope you enjoyed the video-guitar runs and all. Pap is continuing to improve and even did a little picking and grinning with us the other day. We can never repay you for the prayers and good wishes you’ve been sending our way-all of us truly appreciate it and we know it’s helping Pap heal.



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  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 1, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I remember hearing “I’m Using My Bible For A Roadmap” in the early 1960’s but I did not know anything about Reno and Smiley.
    I’m glad your Dad is recovering, for all your (and our) sakes, but mostly for his. This old poverty-stricken world needs to keep all the salt and light it can for as long as it can.

  • Reply
    Nina Chastain
    June 1, 2015 at 8:39 am

    So happy to hear Pap is improving . All the people at Church misses him so much . Glad he is able to still pick up that guitar and pick a little . Enjoy all your post so much !

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    May 31, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    That’s some real heart of the earth music that is.
    Blessed to here Pap is doing better. I hope he takes it easy and rests. That’s the best way to heal there is.
    Continuing in prayer.
    God bless.

    • Reply
      Becky Whitener
      June 7, 2021 at 7:19 am

      May I ask what happened to Pap? I’ve only been on this site around 2 years…thanks

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I’m so glad Paul and Pap and the
    Gang did some Reno and Smiley tunes. As my daddy would say,”them boys do the fox runnin’ songs as good as The Chuck Wagon Gang.” Every day someone calls into our
    local radio station and requests
    “I’m using My Bible for a Roadmap” by Reno and Smiley.
    I love the old songs that you all
    do, and on this one you all did

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    So enjpyed Paul and Pap’s rendition of “The Lord’s Last Supper” by Reno and Smiley. I thank them for doing it, and you for recording and posting it. I pray Pap (dear Jerry Wilson) will soon be mended and well enough to play and sing again! And I wished I could be at Union County Old Courthouse on May 29 to hear Chitter and Chatter (and you and Paul) but didn’t get up to the mountains for the concert!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    So happy to hear Pap is picking up the guitar again – music is a healer, as you all know very well 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 31, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Tipper–As you likely know, Red Smiley had close connections to Swain County and is buried in a cemetery out Jackson Line way. While I listened to Reno and Smiley as a boy, I never knew of his Swain County roots until long after I was grown. I suspect others among your readers, and certainly Bill Burnett, would have known. Anyway, great post and two great makers of music. Glad Pap and Paul picked up on their find material.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    That was a snappy tune! Thanks to Pap and Paul!
    Prayers are still coming his way!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 31, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    So happy to hear your father continues to improve!!
    I’m also happy that you all are performing some of Reno and Smileys old music.
    I can’t ever miss an opportunity to brag that my grandmother Beuna Cunningham Ammons was a first cousin of Red Smiley’s.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    May 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Got my toes to tappin’!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 31, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Good Sunday toe-tapper. Good Sunday News — Pap is picking and grinning again. God Bless.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 31, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Great Job I’m glad Pap’s on the mend. I too am a fan of Reno & Smiley, possibly because Red is a First Cousin Twice Removed of Ed Ammons and mine. Red was wounded on Sicily and lost a lung during WWII. During the year he spent in Walter Reed Hospital he and his guitar entertained the other patients. He later hooked with Don Reno, another Vet who served a stint with Merrill’s Marauders a unit any WWII history fan will recognize. Red died in 1972 from complications from his diabetes and is buried in Dehart Cemetery just west of Bryson City. As a young Deputy with Swain County Sheriff’s Dept. I was honored to escort his Funeral Procession. These two great musicians were part of the “Greatest Generation” who along with thousands of other Americans answered their country’s call during WWII.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I loved this rendition by Pap and Paul…The word repetition by Pap reminded me of the very first family Chuck Wagon Gang like they sang on some of their songs.
    You can certainly see the love in Pap and Paul’s eyes after they finished the song…as if by golly we got it that time!
    Thanks Paul and Pap and of course the bass (Tipper)…LOL
    Keep getting better Pap!
    PS…Tipper how does your garden grow (with all this rain)?
    My Silver Bells and Cockle Shells are drooping a bit…Maybe when the sun comes out they will stand up!

  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry, Sr.
    May 31, 2015 at 11:10 am

    One of their best. I would love to hear the twins sing harmony to that

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    May 31, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Wow! I had not heard or even thought of that one in a coon’s age! Great job! Always love Pap’s harmony!
    Continuing to pray for his healing?

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Glad to hear Pap is making music again. That’s a good sign. It has healing qualities.

  • Reply
    Bob Dalsemer
    May 31, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Wonderful! Its one of my favorite Reno and Smiley songs and Paul and Pap do a great job!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I’ve never heard Reno and Smiley sing the song, but they couldn’t have done a better job than Pap and Paul.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    May 31, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Nice post, Tipper. I suspect you knew that Red Smiley is buried in the DeHart Cemetery in the Jackson Line area of Swain County (the name “Jackson Line” comes from that being a section where the county line between Jackson and Macon Counties ran before Swain was made a county).
    You may not have known that his grandfather, John Sadoc Smiley, was the first superintendent of schools in Swain. In the 1880 census, J.S. Smiley was listed as farmer and teacher.
    Red Smiley’s father taught school on Hazel Creek and later in Bryson City.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 31, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Yep, that’s a toe tapper, good job!
    I went by to see Pap a couple of days ago and was amazed at his improvement. Also noticed his guitar case open near his chair. I asked if he’d been doing some playing, he smiled, that sweet smile and said yes. Between the smile and the open guitar case I knew for sure he was getting better!

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