Smith was a blues rock/blue-eyed soul band from Los Angeles that became famous during the late 1960s. Formed in 1969, the original members consisted of lead singer Gayle McCormick (November 26, 1948 - March 1, 2016), Jerry Carter (bass), James Richard Cliburn (guitar), Bob Evans (drums), and Larry Moss (keyboards), with some personnel changes later on. Smith was discovered in a nightclub by Del Shannon who got the band signed to ABC-Dunhill. The band is best known for its hard rock, Hammond organ-driven remake of The Shirelles' "Baby It's You" featuring McCormick's powerful, bluesy lead vocals. This song was included on the band's 1969 debut album, "A Group Called Smith."
Smith debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1968 with "Now I Taste The Tears" (billed as The Smiths), which became a minor hit. The band had a Top 5 hit the following year with "Baby It's You," which outranked both The Shirelles' and The Beatles' versions on the charts and soon after went gold. Smith's cover of "Baby It's You" was later included in the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's 2007 film, "Death Proof." The band also had hits in 1970 with "Take A Look Around," "What Am I Gonna Do," and "Comin' Back To Me (Ooh Baby)."
After Smith disbanded in 1971, Gayle McCormick went solo and recorded three albums. She had several hits on the Pop/Rock charts that included "It's A Cryin' Shame" which also became an Adult Contemporary Top 10 hit.
- Billboard remembers Smith lead singer Gayle McCormick.
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- Baby It's You 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Shirelles (1962).)
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