b. Ocie Lee Smith (Reverend O.C. Smith), 21st June 1932, Mansfield, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 23rd November 2001, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
O.C. Smith was born Ocie Lee Smith in Mansfield, Louisiana.
He relocated with his parents to Little Rock, Arkansas, before their seperation, which led to O.C. and his mother moving on to Los Angeles, California.
It was here where he began singing jazz and standards in various clubs around the latter end of the 40's.
O.C. completed a psychology degree at Southern University, and then joined the U.S. Air Force, serving in the States, Europe and the Far East.
arthur godfrey (talent scout)
After serving five years in the forces, on his return to public life, he toured with Horace Heidt, and signed with Cadence Records in 1955, following an appearance on 'Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts'.
His debut release was a cover of the Little Richard hit 'Tutti Frutti' in December 1955.
He remained predominantly a club performer until 1961, when he replaced Joe Williams in the Count Basie Band.
the dynamic o.c. smith - 1966 / hickory holler revisited - 1968
He resumed his solo career in 1963, finally attaining a commercial breakthrough in 1968 with Dallas Frazier's song, 'The Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp', recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, and a major hit in the U.K. (number 2 Pop chart).
In the U.S.A,. this record was overshadowed by his rendition of Bobby Russell's 'Little Green Apples', which outsold a rival hit version by Roger Miller (number 2 Billboard), although in Britain, it lost out to a domestic release by Leapy Lee.
'Daddy's Little Man' in 1969 provided O.C.'s final taste of U.S. Top 40 success.
for once in my life - 1969 / o.c. smith at home - 1969
The track was taken from his 'O.C. Smith At Home' release that year, an album which also featured his version of the Winstons classic 'Color Him Father' (popular on the U.K. Modern Soul Scene)
help me make it through the night - 1971 / la la peace song - 1974
On the R & B charts, 1974's 'La La Peace Song' proved popular, and saw a collaboration with the singer and songwriter Johnny Bristol.
The parent album featured production input, additionally, from Gamble and Huff, and featured O.C.'s take on 'I Think I'll Tell Her', 'My Cherie Amour' and 'Don't Misunderstand' (featured in the movie 'Shaft's Big Score')
together - 1977 / love is forever - 1979
He also returned to the U.K. singles chart in 1977 with 'Together', reaching a Top 30 chart position (the song originally penned in 1976).
In 1979, he released the, the Joe Porter produced, album 'Love Is Forever', which included the single 'Love To Burn'.
dreams come true - 1982 / love changes - 1982
After departing CBS, O.C. united with Charles Wallert (the Embers /Bluewater Records etc), who wrote and produced the title track for the 1982 album for 'Dreams Come True'.
The album contained the Charles Wallert penned songs 'Nothing But The Best', 'Falling In Love With You (So Easy)', and was decicated to the memory of Van McCoy.
During the 80's he released several albums of southern style soul music, including, the 1982 H.B. Barnum produced, 'Love Changes', which contained the popular soul swinger 'I'm Glad I Fell In Love With You'.
whatcha gonna do? - 1986 / after all is said and done - 1993
1986's 'What'cha Gonna Do' (Rendezvous Records) album charted 3 Billboard singles (1986 - 87, for nearly a total of 40 weeks).
These were 'What'cha Gonna Do' (number one), 'You're My First, My Last My Everything' (number two) and 'Brenda' (number three).
This album, mostly for the single 'Brenda' established O.C. as a Beach Music star.
The song led to O.C. & Charles Wallert being nominated for a total of six awards at the third Beach Music Awards, of which O.C. won five.
1993's, 'After All Is Said And Done' further established O.C. as a Beach Music performer.
The album was nominated for six awards at the third Beach Music Awards, of which O.C. won five.
He later became pastor and founder of The City Of Angels Church in Los Angeles, California where practised for 16 years.
beach music classics and love songs - 2000 / i give my heart to you! - 2000
'Save The Last Dance For Me' (a later recording) reached the number one position on the Rhythm n' Beach Top 40 chart and featured on a Beach Music compilation for the Bluewater Recordings label.
O.C.Smith died on the 23rd November 2001 from a heart attack.
Governor Jim Hodges proclaimed 21st June 2002, 'O.C. Smith Day' in the State of South Carolina.
O.C. was posthumously elected to the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame in November 2002.
For further music, along with a tribute, check this link:
The Dynamic O.C. Smith (Columbia Records 1966)
Hickory Holler Revisited (Columbia Records 1968)
For Once In My Life (Columbia Records 1969)
0. C. Smith At Home (Columbia Records 1969)
Help Me Make It Through The Night (Columbia Records 1971)
La La Peace Song (Columbia Records 1974)
Together (CBS Caribou Records 1977)
Love Is Forever (Shadybrook Records 1979)
Dreams Come True (Brunswick Records 1982)
Love Changes (South Bay Records 1982)
Whatcha Gonna Do (Rendezvous Records 1986)
After All Is Said & Done (Triune Records 1993)
Beach Music Classics and Love Songs (Bluewater Records 2000)
I Give My Heart to You (Rubyjude Records 2000)