Thursday, March 06, 2008

R.I.P. Hurricane Smith

My mother's favorite song of 1972 had to be "Oh, Babe. What Would You Say," a surprisingly old-fashioned sounding hit by one Norman "Hurricane" Smith. Having heard it only sparingly over the past three decades, I still recall all of the lyrics and the unique vocal stylings of the artist himself. I even remember seeing Smith on television and thinking him yet another Tiny Tim!

What I didn't know at the time was that Norman Smith had been an engineer for the Beatles! In fact, along with producer George Martin, Norman Smith helped define the signature sound of the British Invasion! One could argue that he did this even moreso a few years later when he produced the Pretty Things' seminal concept album, S.F. SORROW (an acknowledged influence on the Who's Pete Townsend) and became the producer for Syd Barrett's early Pink Floyd, which, of course, piloted the musical road to the psychedelia that defined the end of that decade! Thus his quaint little hit of 1972, at the ripe old age of 49, seems all the more unusual. He was still performing into the 21st Century and the CD seen here came out just a couple of years ago containing new recordings and interviews.
Hurricane Smith died on March 3rd at the age of 85.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I loved that song, "Oh Babe...". I have that as part of a 70s collection a friend gave to me. Even as a kid I liked hearing that song. It really does stand out amongst the songs from the 70s.