Brenton Wood

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Brenton Wood
Brenton Wood.png
Background information
Birth nameAlfred Jesse Smith
Born (1941-07-26) July 26, 1941 (age 80)
Shreveport, Louisiana
OriginSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California
GenresSoul, R&B, pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards

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

Life and career[edit]

Wood was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States.[2] 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 first 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[2] (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 novelty song "The Oogum Boogum Song",[2] reached No. 19 on the US Billboard R&B chart and No. 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 No. 1 on KHJ. Wood's biggest hit came a few months later, as "Gimme Little Sign" hit No. 9 on the pop chart,[2] No. 19 on the R&B charts, No. 2 on KHJ, and No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart;[3] sold over one million copies; and was awarded a gold disc.[1] The title is not actually sung in the song; the chorus instead repeats "Give Me Some Kind of Sign". Wood's "Baby You Got It" (1967)[2] peaked at No. 34 on the Hot 100 during the last week of 1967 and No. 3 on KHJ on January 31, 1968.

A true music entrepreneur, in 1972 he formed his own record label and released, co-produced and co-wrote the Funk Soul classic "Sticky Boom Boom To Cold Part I and II" with collaborators George Semper (co-producer, arranger) and Al McKay (co-writer, performer) of Earth, Wind & Fire fame.[4] Wood recorded a duet with Shirley Goodman.[2] His next solo song to reach the charts was "Come Softly to Me" in 1977.[2]

He returned again in 1986 with the album Out of the Woodwork,[5] which included contemporary re-recordings of his early hits, along with several new tracks, including the single, "Soothe Me".[6] 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.[7]

In 2014, he partnered with William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up for a remake of the song "Gimme Little Sign" on their album, Epic Endings.[8]

In 2019, "The Oogum Boogum Song" was used in a commercial for Kinder Joy products.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio
  • Oogum Boogum (1967) – (Double Shot) – Billboard Hot 200 No. 184[9]
  • Gimme Little Sign (1967) – (Liberty) – 'UK version of Oogum Boogum '
  • 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)
Compilations
  • Brenton Wood's 18 Best (1991)
  • 18 More of the Best, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • Better Believe It (2000) – (Demon / Westside)

Singles[edit]

  • "Hide-a-Way" (1963)
  • "I Want Love" (1966)
  • "Sweet Molly Malone" (1966)
  • "The Oogum Boogum Song" (1967) – US Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B No. 19
  • "Gimme Little Sign" (1967) – US Billboard Hot 100 #9; US R&B #19; UK Singles Chart No. 8
  • "Baby You Got It" (1967) – US Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B No. 30
  • "Lovey Dovey Kinda Lovin'" (1968) – US Billboard Hot 100 No. 99
  • "Some Got It, Some Don't" (1968) – US Billboard R&B No. 42
  • "It's Just a Game, Love" (1968)
  • "A Change Is Gonna Come" (1969) – US Billboard "Bubbling Under" #131
  • "Whoop It On Me" (1969)
  • "Great Big Bundle of Love" (1970)
  • "Boogaloosa Louisian'" (1970)
  • "Sad Little Song" (1971)
  • "Sticky Boom Boom (Too Cold)" (1972)
  • "You're Beautiful People" (1973)
  • "Another Saturday Night" (1973)
  • "All That Jazz" (1975)
  • "Rainin' Love (You Gotta Feel It)" (1975)
  • "It Only Make Me Want It More" (1975)
  • "Bless Your Little Heart" (1976)
  • "Come Softly To Me" (1977) – US R&B No. 92[3][9]
  • "Number One" (1977)
  • "Let's Get Crazy Together" (1978)

Filmography[edit]

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 c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Soul Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 310. ISBN 0-85112-733-9.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 610. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "Brenton Wood – Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold". Discogs. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  5. ^ "Brenton Wood – Out Of The Woodwork (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Brenton Wood – Soothe Me / $Cold Cash$ (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Thee Mr. Duran Show – Videos – Brenton Wood". Mrduran.com. June 7, 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up | The Junction of Americana & 60's Soul". Williampilgrim.com. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine (July 26, 1941). "Brenton Wood | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Popdown (1967)". IMDb.com. Retrieved August 19, 2015.

External links[edit]