Smith, who has often been compared vocally to the late great Patsy Cline, was one of the most successful female country artists of the 1960s and early '70s. She is a prime example of the Nashville Sound, and many of her records were produced by Nashville Sound architect Chet Atkins. Her first record went to No. 1 in the country charts, and she stayed near the top for most of the '60s. When her star began to fade somewhat, she launched a new and successful career as a Gospel singer.