Though she did not become a big name in bluegrass music, during the '80s Emma Smith garnered a small but devoted following thanks to her interesting, perceptive songs and powerful mountain voice. Born Emma Lee Maggard in Hindman, Kentucky, she began playing guitar as a youth. She married in her late teens and set up housekeeping in Hazard, Kentucky, where she eventually debuted on a local television station on the Saturday Night Jamboree. She made her recording debut in 1972 with "Angel Mother; " written after her mother died, it became a local hit and she became a popular performer in area clubs and on televison shows. In 1981, Smith moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, and recorded ten songs with her friend Larry Sparks. She wrote many of these songs, and one of them, "Don't Neglect the Rose," became one of Sparks' biggest hits. In 1982 she released the album Hazard; her next was a gospel recording, Ship from King's Harbor Shore. Smith frequently played the festival circuit and appeared with such noted musicians as Kenny Baker and Josh Graves. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi