A link between the Western swing of the 1940s and the rockabilly of the 1950s, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith was one of country music's seminal figures. In addition to inspiring several generations of country musicians via his region television program, The Arthur Smith Show, which aired from 1951 to 1982 and was the first syndicated country music show, Smith wrote and recorded some of country music's most influential tunes. His fiery instrumental "Guitar Boogie," recorded with the Tennessee Ramblers, has been often cited as the first rock & roll song. Released on October 23, 1948, the single sold nearly three million copies and reached number 25 on the Billboard pop charts. It was subsequently transformed into a Top Five hit, "Guitar Boogie Shuffle," by Frank Virtue and His Virtuoso Trio in 1959.