Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery Dead at 88

Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery, longtime banjo picker for Dallas-based western swing group the Light Crust Doughboys, died of a heart attack Wednesday (June 6) at Medical City Dallas Hospital. He was 88. He joined the Light Crust Doughboys in 1935, just as western swing legend Bob Wills was leaving the group. Montgomery brought Dixieland-style jazz banjo picking to western swing. Despite battling leukemia, he continued to perform with the Doughboys and his last show was last month when the group appeared with the Abilene Philharmonic Symphony. Montgomery was also a founding member of the 1960s folk-rock band the Levee Singers and the leader of local musical ensembles Smokey and the Bearcats, the Dallas Banjo Band and Dallas Hot Five. He picked his banjo in Gene Autry films, including Oh Susannah. His song "Pussy, Pussy, Pussy" was used in the 1996 Demi Moore-Burt Reynolds movie Striptease. In 1995, the Light Crust Doughboys were named official music ambassadors for the state of Texas, and the Texas Legislature called Montgomery a "national treasure." 06/07/01