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The 2003 Ceremony
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[illustration: Mark Twain and Lily Tomlin]

~ Lily Tomlin  

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The Mark Twain Prize (2003)

The All-Star Cast

G.E. Smith

G.E. Smith was supporting himself as a musician by the age of 11. In his teens, he hooked up with the legendary Scratch Band, playing up and down the East Coast in the 1970s. He was hired as the guitarist for Gilda Radner's 1979 Broadway show Gilda Live and later took a job as lead guitarist with musicians Daryl Hall and John Oates, touring and recording with the band from 1979-85. During the 1985 Live Aid concerts, Hall & Oates became the "house band" and Smith the de facto music director as they backed Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and others. He recorded on Jagger's albums She's the Boss and Primitive Cool. He became musical director of Saturday Night Live, leading the SNL band from 1985-95 and winning an Emmy. He was musical director for the Emmy Award-winning SNL 25th Anniversary Special. During his years with SNL he simultaneously toured with Bob Dylan. He was musical director for the 1988 Emmy Awards, the 1993 Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards, the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden, the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame Museum concert in Cleveland, the Muddy Waters Tribute and NBC's 75th Anniversary Show. For the Kennedy Center Honors, Smith was musical director and bandleader for the Honor presented to Bob Dylan in 1997 and for Willie Nelson in 1998. He has been musical director for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize program since its inception in 1998.