Gayle McCormick

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Gayle McCormick
Born(1948-11-26)November 26, 1948
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 1, 2016(2016-03-01) (aged 67)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Genres Rock, blues
Years active1965–1976
Associated acts Smith

Gayle McCormick (November 26, 1948 – March 1, 2016) was an American singer, best known for her work with the rock band Smith. She attended Pattonville High School in Maryland Heights, Missouri near St. Louis and sang high soprano with the Suburb Choir, a 150-voice unit that performed annually with the St. Louis Symphony. [1] Her recording and performing career stretched from 1965-76. McCormick started her career singing songs by Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Tina Turner before joining Smith. [2]

Smith (band) band from the USA

Smith was an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1969. They had a blues-based sound and scored a Top 5 hit in 1969 with a cover of the Burt Bacharach song "Baby It's You", featuring Gayle McCormick on lead vocals. This disc sold over one million copies between July and October 1969, out-charted popular versions by the Beatles and the Shirelles, and received a gold record awarded by the R.I.A.A.

Pattonville High School

Pattonville High School is a public high school located in Maryland Heights, Missouri. It is the only high school in the Pattonville School District. Pattonville has consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report as one of the finer high schools in the country. Pattonville High School currently ranks in the top 10% of high schools nationally.

Maryland Heights, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Maryland Heights is a middle-class, second-ring west-central suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 27,472 at the 2010 census. The city was incorporated in 1985. Edwin L. Dirck was appointed the city's first mayor by then County Executive Gene McNary. Mark M. Levin served as City Administrator from August 1985 to 2015.


The Klassmen

In 1967, she was the lead singer in a band called Steve Cummings and The Klassmen, and released a single called "Without You" which had success in Missouri. [3]


In 1969 Smith was formed in Los Angeles, their first album entitled A Group Called Smith, featured McCormick as the primary vocalist. Smith mainly played and recorded covers of pop and soul songs and made the top five with a remake of "Baby It's You", [4] charting higher than the previous hit version by The Shirelles. Smith's version was also featured in Quentin Tarantino's film Death Proof , part of the Grindhouse double feature.

The Shirelles African American girl group

The Shirelles were an American girl group notable for their rhythm and blues, doo-wop and soul music and gaining popularity in the early 1960s. They consisted of schoolmates Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie "Micki" Harris, and Beverly Lee.

Quentin Tarantino American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor

Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, an aestheticization of violence, extended scenes of dialogue, ensemble casts consisting of established and lesser-known performers, references to popular culture and a wide variety of other films, soundtracks primarily containing songs and score pieces from the 1960s to the 1980s, and features of neo-noir film.

<i>Death Proof</i> 2007 American action thriller slasher film directed by Quentin Tarantino

Death Proof is a 2007 American exploitation horror film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Kurt Russell as a stuntman who murders young women in staged car accidents using his "death-proof" stunt car. It co-stars Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with stuntwoman Zoë Bell as herself. The film pays homage to the slasher, exploitation and muscle car films of the 1970s.


After the group disbanded, McCormick went on to record three solo albums. Gayle McCormick was released on ABC Dunhill in 1971. The following album, Flesh & Blood on Decca/MCA at Bolic Sound Studios in 1972 [2] and One More Hour on Fantasy in 1974. In the fall of 1971, her performance of "It's A Cryin' Shame" charted at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a Top Ten hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. In 1973 Gayle married and relocated to Hawaii. [5] [6]

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

McCormick recorded the tracks "Coming In Out of the Rain" and "Simon Said" for a 1975 single on the Shady Brook label; it scraped the lower reaches of the Adult Contemporary chart that fall. McCormick also contributed backing vocals to Jimmy Rabbitt and Renegade's Waylon Jennings-produced 1976 self-titled Capitol LP from which the single "Ladies Love Outlaws" was drawn. [7]


In 2015, McCormick was hospitalized for pneumonia and during the treatment it was discovered that she had cancer which had metastasized from a tumor in a lung to the rest of her body. McCormick died of cancer March 1, 2016 in suburban St. Louis. She was 67 years old. [8] [9]

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  1. Jancik, Wayne, "The Billboard book of one-hit wonders", Billboard Books, 1998, ISBN   978-0823076222
  2. 1 2 Leitheiser, Kevin (December 1982). In Conversation With Gayle McCormick (79 ed.). Goldmine Magazine. p. 7.
  3. "Gayle McCormick, Singer Behind Smith's 'Baby It's You,' Dies at 67". Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  4. Unterberger, Richie. "Biography: Smith". Allmusic . Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  5. "The Gayle Mccormick Tribute". Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  6. Strong, MC (March 2016). "Gayle McCormick". The Great Rock Bible.
  7. Jimmy Rabbitt And Renegade, Capitol Records ST-11491
  8. "Gayle McCormick, lead singer of the band Smith, dies at 67". November 1, 1969. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  9. King, Jonnie. "WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL JONNIE KING WEBSITE!". Retrieved June 11, 2015.