Country star, Chester Smith, passes away

Chester Smith started his career as a country music singer and radio broadcaster and built a television station empire based in the Modesto area that earned him millions and the respect of those he inspired.

He died Friday at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, according to the tour manager of his longtime friend, country music star Merle Haggard.

Smith became a country music star with his hit song "Wait a Little Longer, Please, Jesus" and his Northern California radio and television shows in the 1950s.

During his radio-TV announcer days of the 1940s through the 1960s, a who's who in country music worked with Smith. The names included Marty Robbins, Del Reeves, Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Hank Thompson, Jerry Lee Lewis and even rocker Chuck Berry.

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