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|Birth name||Alfred Jesse Smith|
|Born||July 26, 1941|
|Origin||San Pedro, Los Angeles, California|
|Genres||Soul, R&B, pop|
Life and career
Wood was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. 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.
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; sold over one million copies; and was awarded a gold disc. 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" peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 during the last week of 1967 and #3 on KHJ on 31 January 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, and Fire fame. 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, which included contemporary re-recordings of his early hits, along with several new tracks, including the single, "Soothe Me".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.
Recently, in 2014, he partnered with William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up for a remake of the song "Gimme Little Sign" on their recently released album, Epic Endings (available on iTunes and Amazon) which came out in August.
In 2019, "The Oogum Boogum Song" was used in a commercial for Kinder Joy products.
Cover versions and later versions
"The Oogum Boogum Song" was covered by Alex Chilton. "Gimme Little Sign" was recorded by Danielle Brisebois, who had a hit with it in 1994. "Gimme Little Sign" was recorded by soul singer Ronnie Jones on his 1978 LP, Me and Myself. It 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, included "Gimme Little Sign" on their Push 'N Shove album.
- Oogum Boogum (1967) - (Double Shot) - Billboard Hot 200 #184
- Gimme Little Sign (1967) - (Liberty) - 'U.K. 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)
- Brenton Wood's 18 Best (1991)
- 18 More of the Best, Vol. 2 (1999)
- Better Believe It (2000) - (Demon / Westside)
- "The Oogum Boogum Song" (1967) - US 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
- Popdown - (1967) - (Brenton Wood appeared in the movie, alongside Julie Driscoll, Zoot Money, Andy Summers, Don Partridge, and Tony Hicks.
- 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 Pit.
- The Last Days of Disco - (1998) - 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.
- Duck Dodgers - (2005) - "Oogum Boogum Song" plays on the radio at the end of the episode "A Lame Duck Mind".
- 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".
- The Shack 2017 - "Gimme Little Sign" is heard in the film.
- Home Again- (2017) - "Baby You Got It"
- Love, Simon- (2018) - "Oogum Boogum Song[circular reference]
- The Twilight Zone- (TV series) The Twilight Zone - (2019) - Season 1 of Episode 3 of the TBS series, “Oogum Boogum” was used in the background.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 233. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 610. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Brenton Wood - Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
- "Brenton Wood - Out Of The Woodwork (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "Brenton Wood - Soothe Me / $Cold Cash$ (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "Thee Mr. Duran Show - Videos - Brenton Wood". Mrduran.com. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up | The Junction of Americana & 60's Soul". Williampilgrim.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1941-07-26). "Brenton Wood | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "Popdown (1967)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Love, Simon