First recorded by Henson Cargill (recorded 1973, C&W #29 1974).
Other hit version by co-writer Mac Davis (US #9/MOR #1/C&W #40/CAN #3 1974).
From the wiki: “‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ was written by songwriter Mac Davis (he wrote ‘In the Ghetto’ for Elvis Presley) and the noted bandleader-trumpeter Doc Severinsen. It was first recorded by Henson Cargill (best known for the socially controversial 1968 Country #1 hit ‘Skip a Rope’) in late 1973 on his album This Is Henson Cargill Country, and then released in May 1974 as something of a come-back single for the performer, peaking at #29 on the Country singles chart.
“Co-writer Davis released his arrangement in March 1974 as the title track for the album Stop and Smell the Roses. Promoted as a single beginning in August 1974, ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ peaked at #40 on the Country singles chart but went Top-10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian RPM music charts and topped the MOR chart in the US.”
“Doc Severinsen was best known as the bandleader on NBC’s late-night talk show The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Davis was an occasional guest on the show, and during this time the two became acquainted. Following an appearance on the show, Severinsen approached Davis with the idea of recording a song that included the phrase ‘stop and smell the roses’, as he had only recently heard the phrase from his physician. Soon after, Davis, while vacationing in Hawaii, wrote the song, crediting Severinsen as a co-writer for giving him the idea. Severinsen was later quoted as saying that Davis ‘could have gone ahead and written the song and not done that [share the credit].'”
Mac Davis, “Stop and Smell the Roses” (1974):