Floyd Smith (musician)

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Floyd Smith (January 25, 1917 – March 29, 1982[1]) was an American jazz guitarist.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Smith studied music theory as a teenager and learned ukelele as a child before taking up guitar. He spent his early career in territory bands, playing in groups such as the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, the Sunset Royal Orchestra, Eddie Johnson's Crackerjacks, Andy Kirk's band, and the Brown Skin Models. His 1939 Floyd's Guitar Blues lap steel guitar instrumental with Andy Kirk and the 12 Clouds of Joy's was the first ever electric guitar hit record. He enlisted during World War II and was stationed in Britain as a Sargeant. Following the war, he led his own small ensembles in soul jazz and straight-ahead settings. He played with Bill Doggett early in the 1960s and then with Hank Marr and Wild Bill Davis.

In the 1970s, Smith moved into writing songs and record production, working with soul label, Brunswick Records in Chicago, for which he recorded a few singles, and founding a label in the city. He produced two albums with R&B star, Loleatta Holloway for Aware Records of Atlanta. In the late 1970s, he produced tracks on several albums with the artist for Gold Mine/Salsoul Records. He managed the former gospel singer and later married her.

He died in Indianapolis, Indiana in March 1982 at the age of 65.[1]


With Johnny "Hammond" Smith


Further Reading