The versatile singer scored a No. 5 hit with the song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Gayle McCormick, a big-voiced singer who scored a top five hit in the late 1960s with the soul/psych rock band Smith before going solo, died this week following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 67. McCormick passed away on Tuesday (March 1) in suburban St. Louis, where she grew up and got her start before venturing West, her friend and radio veteran Jonnie King has announced. Reached by Billboard on Friday, King said McCormick had lung cancer that spread to other parts of her body.
McCormick began her career in the mid-1960s in St. Louis as the featured singer in a well-known local band called Steve Cummings and The Klassmen. By 1969 she had moved to Los Angeles and joined a group that had recently changed their name from The Smiths to simply Smith. Before long, the band and its striking frontwoman caught the eye of "Runaway" singer Del Shannon, who helped them get signed to Dunhill Records.
In July 1969, the band released A Group Called Smith, a tight-knit set of mostly rock covers that peaked at No. 17 on the Top LPs chart (later renamed the Billboard 200). Their biggest hit was Burt Bacharach’s "Baby, It’s You," previously recorded by The Shirelles and The Beatles, which rose to No. 5 on the Hot 100. While riding the wave of that hit, McCormick and the band made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand and elsewhere.