Conner Smith shares how mom inspired him to pursue country music

Jason Kempin/Getty Image

For many who are born in Nashville, being surrounded by country music is inevitable.

But not only did Conner Smith grow up listening to the genre, he was introduced to the music industry at a young age by his veteran broadcaster mom, Jennifer Vickery Smith.

“Growing up, my mom was a TV reporter on the local station. But she always loved country music, so she would really kind of raise her hand for all those jobs. She would interview songwriters and artists,” Conner recounts to ABC Audio. “I remember she would go to number-one parties, and she’d pull me out of school every now and then. I remember she pulled me out of school one day to go to the ‘Why Don’t We Just Dance’ Josh Turner number-one party.”

As Conner embraced being a fly on the wall, he started analyzing interviews his mom had with hit songmakers — which later sparked his passion for country songwriting.

“She would interview songwriters, these [legends like] Craig WisemanNeil ThrasherKelly LovelaceTom Douglas. And I would just study these interviews of these guys that were telling the stories of these country songs,” Conner recalls. “That was where, [in] my heart, I was just like, ‘Whatever that is, I have to do that.’ So that’s really where it started for me.” 

Conner’s currently approaching the top 20 on the country charts with his single “Creek Will Rise.”

Tickets for Conner’s fall Creek Will Rise Tour are available now at

Conner’s mom, Jennifer, also hosts the Got It From My Momma podcast. Check it out at

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.