Little Girl, Big Musical Talent


The next big thing in country music barely fills out her cowboy boots. Meet Ruby Jane Smith, an 11-year-old prodigy from Mississippi.

How old was she when she started fiddling?

"I was 2 years old," Smith says.

Ruby Jane demanded to listen to her mother's bluegrass CDs as a baby, CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports.

"I said, 'Mama, that's the kind of music I want to play,'" Smith says.

And she played … and played … and played.

"Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, just started the Dobro (a mechanically amplified wooden guitar), drums, piano, spoons, harmonica — and I sing," Smith says.

"I just couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing for a 7-year-old kid at that time," says Jim Brock, Smith's music teacher.

Brock — a Grand Ole Opry great — took Ruby under his wing as soon as he saw her perform. Today, she leads him on stage. The two are so in tune, he calls her the granddaughter he never had.

If it surprises you to hear an 11-year-old play this kind of music, listen to Ruby Jane. She seems to have a soul seasoned well beyond her years.

"I love writing songs. My mama thinks one I wrote is kind of a Hank Williams sorta love song thing," Smith says.

A love song by an 11-year-old?

"It's not a love song," Smith says.

Her song is called "Smoke In My Eyes." And the lyrics startled her biggest fan — her mother.

"I called up your house and your girlfriend said she's gonna be your spouse," Smith sings.

"I'm like, 'you're 11!'" her mother, Jobelle Smith, says.

Watching her, that's easy to forget.

"You'd think that I birthed her on stage. She's meant to be there; she loves it so much," Jobelle Smith says.

And while Ruby Jane is happy to just hang out, what this kid really wants to do is play.