William "Smitty" Smith

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William Smith
Birth nameWilliam Daniel Smith
OriginUnited States
GenresRock, Soul, Jazz
InstrumentsVocals, Keyboards
Years active1960s–1980s
Associated actsMotherlode, Diane Brooks & The Soul Searchers, Eric Mercury, Grant Smith & The Power, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Clayton Thomas, Mike Finnigan & The Right Band, David Lindley & El Rayo-X

William Daniel "Smitty" Smith (August 30, 1944 – born in Belleville, Virginia November 28, 1997 in Sherman Oaks, CA) was an American keyboardist and session musician.

He had been playing together with Steve Kennedy, Eric Mercury, Eric "Mouse" Johnson, Terry Logan and Diane Brooks in a Toronto band called the Soul Searchers that was fronted by Mercury and Brooks. After the Soul Searchers broke up, first Kennedy and then Smith joined a group called Grant Smith & The Power. In 1969 Smith and Kennedy, along with Ken Marco and Wayne "Stoney" Stone, formed Motherlode and went on to have a U.S. #18 hit with "When I Die." The group broke up in 1970 and Smith fronted a second version of Motherlode that was soon to break up after releasing one single.[1]

Smith became a session musician and played on and contributed background vocals to recordings by artists such as Bob Dylan, David Clayton-Thomas, Billy Joel, The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Richie Havens, Tracy Chapman, Rod Stewart, Bruce Willis and Brenda Russell. He also played with Eric Mercury on his Funky Sounds Nurtured in the Fertile Soil album,[2] Marc Tanner Band on their No Escape album,[3] Ricky Lee Jones on her Flying Cowboys album,[4] etc. He also released a solo album Smitty[5] which included a song "Sweetie Pie" that he co-wrote with Eric Mercury. In the early 1980s Smith played keyboards and background vocals in Mike Finnigan and The Right Band.

He died in 1997, aged 53, of a heart attack.[6]


As leader/co-leader (William D. Smith)
  • A Good Feelin' – Warner Bros – BS 2911 – 1976[7]
  • Smitty - A&M SP-4693[8] - 1978
As sideman


  1. ^ Canadian Pop Encyclopedia – Artist: Motherlode
  2. ^ it came from canada.com Eric Mercury by Beau
  3. ^ geocities.jp THE GREAT GROOVE MASTER JEFF PORCARO SESSION WORLD The Mark Tanner Band / No Escape
  4. ^ http://www.rickieleejones.com Rickie Lee Jones The Songs Flying Cowboys
  5. ^ Answers.com Album Review: Smitty
  6. ^ "Los Angeles Times – William "Smitty" Smith Obituary". LATimes.com. December 11, 1997. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  7. ^ Discogs William D. Smith* – A Good Feelin'
  8. ^ Livedoor Blog June 21, 2007, William D. Smith

External links[edit]