COUNTRY music radio broadcaster Brian Clough is “more than chuffed” to see a song he wrote nearly 50 years ago covered by prestigious US bluegrass outfit and released in the UK today.

Brian, known by pals as Cloughie, thought the Smith Sisters of California, US, were winding him up when they said they would like to record his Sing Me a Country Song as a bonus track on their new album and as single.

The former Northern Echo photographer, who lives in Chester-le-Street, penned the song in 1974 and performed it with band members who at one time all worked at the Consett Iron Works. He said: “I’m more than chuffed. Chuffie Cloughie.”

The Northern Echo:

“Many years ago I was looking for something different to play on the radio and came across a song by Pasty Cline called Walking after Midnight, which was by an outfit called the Boyz and the Beez.

“I played the song and thought that sounds different –it was an Andrews sisters style song with a treatment. They turned out to be the Smith Sisters ,who found out that I had played them on the programme.

“They dropped me a line to say thank you and asked if I would be interested in any more of their releases.”The Northern Echo:

One thing led to another, and after playing more of their releases, as they changed their style to bluegrass, they asked if Brian had ever been in a band or recorded anything.

He said: “I told them about an album we brought out in 1975 and that I had written the title track Sing Me a Country Song.

“They said they would like to hear it, so I got the LP out and sent them the title track.

“Kelli Smith texted me ‘oh I love the track, it’s nice and bouncy. We might get round to recording it some day, if that’s alright with you’.

“I said it was no problem, thinking ‘come on you are winding me up here’, because they are quite a prestigious outfit in bluegrass circles in the states.”

The Northern Echo:

“Then about three months ago they got back into studio and said they wanted to include the song as a bonus track on the album, and also release it as a single.

“They asked ‘how would you feel about that?’ Well how do you feel about that?”

The album by Smith Sisters and the Sunday Drivers was released in the US on Friday and can be heard for the first time in the UK on CMR Nashville internet radio station at 5pm on Saturday, while on Sunday at 11am it will be heard for the first time in the North East on the show Brian does for the hospital radio and community station, Radio Tyneside 93.6FM.

The single can be obtained through the usual outlets such as Spotify and Apple Music or directly from

The Northern Echo:

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