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Harry Goes Country!

This was first broadcast on Oct. 8, 2008.

Harry Smith has spent so much time and energy covering the presidential campaign, he put his thoughts about it to music. Country music.

And the Early Show co-anchor recorded the lyrics to "Red State Blue State Blues" when he was in Nashville ahead of the second debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. There's even a music video of Smith's tune!

Smith went Nashville's Music Row and a studio built by the legendary Ronnie Milsap.

That studio has cranked out hits for the likes of Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and many others. Among these giants, Smith admits, "I was just a great pretender."

"I'm trying to channel some of the vibes off the walls so we get a hit here. OK?" Smith remarked.

The studio, says Smith, "is Jimmy Nichols' baby now" and home to the singer/songwriter's brand new label, Black River Music Group.

"I'm looking," says Nichols, "when I first hear a song -- I'm just looking for that listenability factory."

Nichols has worked with everybody from Elton John to Faith Hill. His job? To take Smith's raw material, his lyrics, and forge it into something bigger.

"As a record label and a publishing company, we're looking for the next big thing," Nichols kidded, " .... and Harry Smith could be that man. He could walk through this door. He could be our breakthrough artist!"

Smith's "accomplice," singer Sarah Darling, an Iowa girl, was about to "make it big" by accompanying him, Smith joked.

This was, Smith conceded, "all a lark. The whole idea was to have some fun.

But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, 'Maybe, just maybe, this will work!' "

"How's it sound?" Smith asked as the session went on. "What do you think?"

"We're getting there, baby!" Nichols replied. "You know what they say down here: 'A country song is never written. It's rewritten, and rewritten, and rewritten 'til it's right.' "

To download Harry's song, click here.

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