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Gayle McCormick (1948 - 2016)

Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives

Gayle McCormick (1948 - 2016)

Gayle McCormick, a singer best known as the lead vocalist for the band Smith, died of cancer Mar. 1, 2016, according to the Alexander-White-Mullen Funeral Home in St. Ann, Missouri. She was 67.

Smith had their biggest hit in 1969 with a cover of "Baby It's You," written by Burt Bacharach and originally performed by the Shirelles. On the strength of McCormick's soulful vocals, the recording rose to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a certified gold record. "Baby It's You" was also covered by the Beatles and the Carpenters, but it was Smith's version that was later used by Quentin Tarantino in his 2007 film "Death Proof."


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Smith had other moderately successful singles including "Take a Look Around" and "What Am I Gonna Do." Their cover of the Band's "The Weight" was included on the soundtrack to "Easy Rider" – the original version was in the film, but rights issues required a new version be created for the soundtrack.

After Smith disbanded, McCormick went on to a solo career, with her most successful single reaching No. 9 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. "It's a Crying Shame" also made it to No. 44 on the Hot 100.

A longtime resident of the St. Louis area, McCormick was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. She has no immediate survivors.