Brenton Wood

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Brenton Wood
Brenton Wood.png
Background information
Birth name Alfred Jesse Smith
Born (1941-07-26) July 26, 1941 (age 73)
Origin Shreveport, Louisiana
Genres Soul, R&B, pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals

Brenton Wood (born Alfred Jesse Smith, July 26, 1941, Shreveport, Louisiana)[1] is an American singer and songwriter known for his two 1967 hit singles, "The Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign".

Career[edit]

The family moved to San Pedro in Los Angeles, California when Wood was a child. He attended San Pedro High School for part of his freshman year before moving to Compton, where Brenton became a member of the Compton High School track team and received several awards for his athletic achievements.

Following his high school graduation, Wood enrolled in East Los Angeles College. Soon after, he took the stage name Brenton Wood, possibly inspired by the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood (some sources state that the name is in honor of his "home county"), with a second possible connection of Bretton Woods. During this period, his musical interests began to manifest themselves. He was inspired by Jesse Belvin and Sam Cooke, and he began cultivating his songwriting skills, also becoming a competent pianist.[1]

Early singles for Brent Records and Wand Records failed to chart. Wood signed with Double Shot Records, and his "The Oogum Boogum Song" reached #19 on the US Billboard R&B chart and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1967. In Southern California, "The Oogum Boogum Song" hit the top 10 on KGB-FM and #1 on KHJ. Wood's biggest hit came a few months later, as "Gimme Little Sign" hit #9 on the pop chart, #19 on the R&B charts, #2 on KHJ, and #8 in the UK Singles Chart;[2] sold over one million copies; and was awarded a gold disc.[1] The title is actually only sung once in the song, right at the beginning of the first verse "If you do want me, gimme little sign, girl..."; the chorus instead repeats "Give Me Some Kind of Sign." Wood's "Baby You Got It" peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 during the last week of 1967.

Wood recorded a duet with Shirley Goodman. His next song to reach the charts was "Come Softly to Me" in 1977.

He returned again in 1986 with the album Out of the Woodwork,[3] which included contemporary rerecordings of his early hits, along with several new tracks, including the single, "Soothe Me."[4]

His album This Love Is for Real came out in 2001. Among his later appearances was in 2006 on the Los Angeles public access program Thee Mr. Duran Show, where Wood and his band performed several of his hit singles.[5]

Cover versions[edit]

"The Oogum Boogum Song" was covered by Alex Chilton. "Gimme Little Sign" was later covered by Danielle Brisebois, who had a hit with it in 1994. "Gimme Little Sign" was also recorded by Ricky Nelson. In Singapore Brown Boys who were from the Philippines recorded it for release on an EMI single (CHK) in 1968. It was the B side to Goin Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eye Off You medley. The Trailers, who were a Singaporean band also recorded it for release on an RCA EP dubbed their "Soul EP" also in 1968. Los Angeles Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae band Hepcat covered "Gimme Little Sign" on their Push 'N Shove album.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio
  • Gimme Little Sign (1967) - (Liberty)
  • Oogum Boogum (1967) - (Double Shot) - Billboard Hot 200 #184[6]
  • Baby You Got It (1967)
  • Come Softly (1977) - (Cream)
  • Out of the Woodwork (1986) - (Golden Oldies)
  • This Love Is for Real (2001)
  • Lord Hear My Prayer (2009)
Compilation
  • Brenton Wood's 18 Best (1991)
  • 18 More of the Best, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • Better Believe It (2000) - (Demon / Westside)

Singles[edit]

  • "The Oogum Boogum Song" (1967) - U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B #19
  • "Gimme Little Sign" (1967) - US Billboard Hot 100 #9; US R&B #19; UK Singles Chart #8
  • "Baby You Got It" (1967) - US Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B #30
  • "Lovey Dovey Kinda Lovin'" (1968) - US Billboard Hot 100 #99
  • "Come Softly To Me" (1977) - US R&B #92[2][7]

Filmography[edit]

  • Popdown - (1967) - (Brenton Wood appeared in the movie, alongside Julie Driscoll, Zoot Money, Andy Summers, Don Partridge, and Tony Hicks.[8]
  • Colors - (1988) - "Oogum Boogum Song" appeared on the soundtrack in the background as gang members are parked under the bridge at 4th and Lorena Streets in Los Angeles.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 - (1992) Episode 9 of Season 3 - "Oogum Boogum Song" was used in the background.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 - (1994) Episode 28 of Season 4 - "Gimme Little Sign" played in the background as the Beverly Hills High kids are at their favorite malt shop, the Peach Pitt.
  • The Last Days of Disco - (1998) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (written by Brenton Wood - billed as Alfred Smith) appeared on the soundtrack.
  • Almost Famous - (2000) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (written by Brenton Wood - billed as Alfred Smith) appeared on the soundtrack.
  • Shopgirl - (2005) - "Gimme Little Sign" plays in the film.
  • Lymelife - (2009) - "Oogum Boogum Song" appeared on the soundtrack in the bar at one character's going away party
  • Eastbound and Down - (2010) - Season 2 Episode 5 (Chapter 11) of the HBO series, featured a segment on 4 wheel ATV's in which "Oogum Boogum Song" is played. Episode originally aired on October 24, 2010.
  • Treme - (2012) - Season 3 Episode 4 of the HBO series,"Oogum Boogum Song" was used in the background.
  • Devil's Due - (2014) - "I Like the Way You Love Me" is heard in the film and the film ends with "Oogum Boogum Song".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 233. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 610. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Brenton Wood- Out of the Woodwork @Discogs.com Retrieved 5-30-2014.
  4. ^ Brenton Wood- "Soothe Me" (single) @Discogs.com Retrieved 5-30-2014.
  5. ^ Mrduran.com
  6. ^ ,,,<3 Allmusic / Charts & Awards / Billboard Albums
  7. ^ Allmusic / Charts & Awards / Billboard Singles
  8. ^ IMDb database, accessed January 5, 2010.

External links[edit]