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 THE LOSS OF ANOTHER MENTOR....

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Jimi Hazel
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Number of posts : 260
Age : 54
Localisation : The Boogie Down Bronx!
Registration date : 2005-11-28

PostSubject: THE LOSS OF ANOTHER MENTOR....   Sat 24 Jun - 10:12

Hey Family. I was saddened to hear about the passing of Claydes Smith, guitarist for Kool and The Gang. Where most people know about the 80's period of the band which was their most successful record selling period, this band changed my life in 1969 with the release of their first album. They became the band to aspire to become, unleashing album after album during the period from 1970 to 1976 that would become bibles to the bands in my neighborhood. With the release of Live At The Sex Machine, Claydes taught me about beautiful chord progressions with the song Witchita Lineman. I can't begin to tell you how his playing on that song turned my world upside down! Then, he destroyed the rest of my world with his dangerous wah licks and timekeeping on Pneumonia! By the time they released the album "Music Is the Message", they were the baddest band in the land to me! When they released the "Wild And Peaceful" disc, everyone got rocked with the tunes Hollywood Swinging and the monster joint of all time and the first single & video off of our first disc, Jungle Boogie. No matter what they did, Claydes always played the right thing that was perfect for the song. I think he has been overlooked just like many of my heroes, maybe because he was the Gentle Giant, always dignified and composed. But what he played propelled funk guitar to heights unknown at the time and he never got the props for that. Rest well, Brother Claydes. Know that you changed my life ( and many others) as a player and for that, I will forever be thankful. I won't let them forget what you did. I highly suggest to all of you to go out and cop some of the early Kool and The Gang discs, or start with the best of disc.


CLAYDES "CHARLES" SMITH,
KOOL & THE GANG GUITARIST AND CO-FOUNDER,
PASSES AWAY AT AGE 57 AFTER PROLONGED ILLNESS
Stellar Musician Wrote Band’s Hit "Joanna," Co-Wrote
Other Classic Songs, Held Down Groove For 40 Years

June 20, 2006

Claydes "Charles" Smith, known as Charles Smith – co-founder and lead guitarist of Kool & the Gang – passed away June 20 after a prolonged illness. He was 57.

"We’re devastated," said band manager Tia Sinclair. "We’ve lost a member of our family, as well as an infinitely creative and gifted artist who was with the band from the very beginning. We miss him terribly."

Smith was born on Sept. 6, 1948 in Jersey City, N.J., the son of Willis and Thomas Smith. Introduced to jazz guitar by his father in the early ’60s, he co-founded Kool & the Gang later in the decade, along with Ronald Bell (later Khalis Bayyan), Robert "Kool" Bell, George Brown and Dennis Thomas. The senior member of the group, Smith co-wrote many of the band’s hits, including "Celebration," "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie," and penned the Top 40 smash "Joanna." His authoritative guitar work was an integral part of the superstar group’s sound for 40 years. Smith took a leave from touring in January of this year due to his illness.

He is survived by his six children, Claydes A. Smith, Justin Smith, Aaron Corbin, August Williams, Uranus Guray and Tyteen Humes, and eight grandchildren.

www.koolandthegang.com
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