The Chicago-based singer-songwriter, Michael Smith, died on August 3, at age 78. According to fellow Chicago songwriter Steve Goodman, who wrote "The City of New Orleans," Smith was "the best songwriter you never heard of." It was true.

He wrote some of the best songs, and I particularly loved his sense of humor. When the duo Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy started covering Smith's song "The Dutchman" in the 1970s, it immediately caught the Irish imagination and became a staple of the repertoire there. It remains one of the country's most popular songs.

In this segment, we pay tribute to the talent and off-beat humor of Michael Smith. Below is a playlist of the songs used. Please remember: To listen to full Spotify tracks, you will need an account that can be opened for free at