b. Alfred Jesse Smith, 26th July 1941, Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Brenton Wood is a Soul singerwho is, probably, best known for his songs 'Gimme Little Sign' and the 'Ooogum Boogum Song' (both released in 1967).
As a child, a young Alfred Jesse Smith and his family relocated from Louisiana to San Pedro in Los Angeles, California.
He attended the local high school in San Pedro, and then relocated again to Compton.
Here he joined the high school and became an accomplished athlete at the educational institution.
When he graduated, he attended the East Los Angeles College, changing his name to Brenton Wood, in reference to his wealthy home district in Los Angeles.
With Little Freddy & The Rockets, he recorded 'All My Love' b/w 'Too Fat' for the Chief imprint in 1958.
Brenton further developed his musical skills and became a competent pianist, releasing some early 45's for the Brent, First President and Wand imprints.
At First President, he released 'The Kangaroo' b/w 'That's The Way It Is' in 1960, followed by 'Mr. Schemer' b/w 'Hide-A-Way' for Wand Records in 1963.
At Brent, he recorded 'Good Lovin' (in 1966), 'Cross The Bridge' (also in 1966) and 'I Want Love' (in 1967).
He then signed to Double Shot Records and released 'The Oogum Boogum Song' b/w 'I Like The Way You Love Me' in 1967.
The song reached number 19 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 34 on the Pop charts.
gimme little sign - 1967 / oogum, boogum - 1967
baby you got it - 1967 / boogaloosa, louisian' / i need your love so bad - 1970
The same year he released 'Gimme Little Sign' b/w 'I Think You've Got Your Fools Mixed Up', which reached number 9 on the pop chart and number 19 on the R&B charts (was also recorded by Ricky Nelson).
'Gimme Little Sign' was awarded a gold disc and sold over a million copies.
Brenton then released, 'Baby You Got It' b/w 'Catch You On The Rebound' (in 1967) and 'Some Got It, Some Don't' (in 1968).
He then recorded a duet with Shirley Goodman (under the name of Shirley and Alfred) entitled 'Kid Games And Nursery Rhymes' b/w 'Too Much, Too Soon' in 1968.
Brenton released further Double Shot 45's in between 1969 and 1971, including 'Lovey Dovey Kinda Lovin', 'Some Got It, Some Don't', 'Trouble' (all in 1968) and 'Where Are You' and 'Whoop It On Me' (in 1969).
1970 saw 'Can You Dig It', 'Boogaloosa, Louisian', and 'Sad Little Song' (in 1971) for the label.
Brenton recored for other labels during this period, including Philco-Ford, Ode, Mr. Wood, Prophesy, Midget, Cream and Warner Brothers.
At Warners, he released 'Better Believe It' in 1975, a track later to become a title of a retrospective release of his material.
He reached the charts again in 1977, with 'Come Softly to Me' b/w 'You're Everything I Need' for the Cream Records imprint (a song originally recorded by the Fleetwoods in 1959).
His final Cream recording 'Let's Get Crazy Together' b/w 'Love Is Free', was released as a 12" single in 1978.
In 2000, Demon / Westside Records released 'Better Believe it', with the title track being his 1975 release on Cream.
this love is for real - 2001 / sweet old school - 2006
slow and easy - 2007 / you're beautiful people - 2010
Brenton then retired from recording, until he returned in 2001 with an album of new material, entitled 'This Love Is for Real' for the Varese Sarabande imprint.
All of the rights to his songs are, allegedly, owned by the Los Angeles disc jockey, Art Laboe.
He continues to release new material to this day for his Mr. Wood imprint.
Gimme Little Sign (Liberty Records 1967)
The Oogum Boogum Man (Double Shot Records 1967)
Baby You Got It (Double Shot Records 1967)
Come Softly (Cream Records 1977)
This Love Is for Real (Varese Sarabande Records 2001)
Sweet Old School (Varese Sarabande Records 2006)
Slow and Easy (Mr Wood Records 2007)
Lord Hear My Prayer (Mr Wood Records 2009)
You're Beautiful People (Mr Wood Records 2010)
Brenton Wood's 18 Best (1991)
8 More of the Best, Vol. 2 (1999)
Better Believe It - (Demon / Westside Records 2000)