Smith’s Soulful 1969 Cover of ‘Baby It’s You’

Share This:

In the annals of golden oldies, the 1969 Top 5 hit “Baby, It’s You” by Smith is a standout, most notable for its dynamic soul-shouting vocal by Gayle McCormick.

The Los Angeles-based band Smith (originally named The Smiths) had been discovered by Del Shannon, who helped them get signed by ABC-Dunhill Records and produced their recording of “Baby, It’s You.” The song, written by Burt Bacharach, Luther Dixon (listed as Barney Williams) and Mack David, had already been recorded and released as a single by, first, the Shirelles (#8 in 1961), and not long after that was added to the repertoire of the Beatles, who cut it in 1963 for their first album.

The song was the greatest success for Smith, which followed it with an album titled A Group Called Smith (that reached #17 on the Top 200). The band had a few more minor hits and cut one more long-player, Minus-Plus, before breaking up. McCormick went on to record three solo albums – Gayle McCormick (1971), Flesh & Blood (1972) and One More Hour (1974) – and did hit the pop charts again with “It’s a Cryin’ Shame” in 1971, which reached #44.

“Baby It’s You” reached #3 on Record World on November 15, 1969

By the mid-’70s, McCormick had left the music business and returned to St. Louis, where she had enjoyed local success and regional hits with a band called The Klassmen before relocating to Los Angeles. By all accounts she gave up singing and eschewed the pubic eye. When she was hospitalized in 2015 with pneumonia, it was also discovered that McCormick had cancer. The singer passed away on March 1, 2016, from cancer in her hometown of St. Louis, Mo., at age 67.

Watch a performance of Smith’s “Baby It’s You”

“To know Gayle was to love her,” said her longtime friend, radio DJ Jonnie King, who maintains an online tribute to the singer. “She was just a wonderful friend, so kind and considerate to all she came in contact with, always lots of fun.”

Gayle McCormick’s 1972 solo album, Flesh & Blood

Best Classic Bands Staff

8 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Jay
    #1 Jay 16 November, 2019, 06:48

    This band had some chops
    Gayle was a superstar level talent that just never popped.Alot like Jenny Haan of Babe Ruth

    Reply this comment
    • Ralph
      Ralph 2 March, 2022, 08:30

      I never understood why Jenny Haan wasn’t a big star. She had one of the best voices and Babe Ruth was one of the best debut albums ever. Not a bad track on it.

      Reply this comment
  2. mick62
    #2 mick62 19 November, 2020, 15:44

    Love Gayle McCormick (wish they would release her solo albums on cd) and the Smith LPs.
    Incredible emotive voice from this beautiful lady.

    Reply this comment
  3. skipbifferty
    #3 skipbifferty 2 March, 2021, 03:42

    You cannot beat the Beatles version of this tune. John is outstanding on lead vocal!

    Reply this comment
  4. Bob
    #4 Bob 16 November, 2021, 08:58

    I think the Smith version is the best. I love this lady’s voice. I have the Smith Minus-Plus in cassette that won’t play anymore. Still on the lookout for the album in flea markets.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rocky
    #5 Rocky 16 September, 2022, 20:00

    I don’t think there has been a more amazing time period for music. So many songs that reached out to my soul, but Gayle just blows me away, still.

    Reply this comment
  6. Harry Byrd
    #6 Harry Byrd 16 November, 2022, 13:41

    And no mention of their version of “The Weight” that was used on the Easy Rider soundtrack album? Hm, strange, isn’t it?

    Reply this comment
  7. Gregorio
    #7 Gregorio 16 November, 2022, 19:02

    A Group Called Smith was an awesome band! Their two albums were superlative!!!
    Unfortunately they were highly underrated and overlooked.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.