Smith formed in Los Angeles in 1969 and were discovered by 1960s rocker Del Shannon in a nightclub there.
Shannon got them signed to the ABC-Dunhill label and the group hit the US Top Ten in 1969 with their cover of The Shirelles‘ Baby It’s You (later featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse film, Death Proof).
Featuring three lead singers and a B3 Hammond organ, most of their material consisted of covers of popular rock and R&B tunes. Their strongest asset was their lead vocalist, Gayle McCormick, an accomplished blue-eyed soul belter.
Smith released the album A Group Called Smith which spent 11 weeks in the Top 40. Their second album, Minus-Plus, though, was less successful and only reached #74.
The singles What Am I Gonna Do? (co-written by Carole King) and Take A Look Around made the middle of the charts and their version of The Weight was included on the Easy Rider soundtrack because The Band‘s version, which appeared in the movie, was unavailable due to contractual reasons.
The group broke up after two albums and McCormick had a couple of small hits in 1971 as a solo artist.