Dr. William Oscar (W.O.) Smith (May 2, 1917 – May 31, 1991), was a jazz double bassist and music educator. Although he never pursued a solo career, and, as a result, is not often remembered by jazz historians, Smith was an important player in early jazz history as a sideman. Most notably, Smith was the bassist on Coleman Hawkins' iconic 1939 recording of "Body and Soul". The great jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie said of Smith, "Of all the musicians I've had the pleasure of associating with, I can say that Oscar Smith was among the most gifted. His timing and resolution were almost perfect. He helped me discover my own sense of harmony and rhythm." Gillespie describes him as a sideman extraordinaire.
Birth and Death Data: Born May 2nd, 1917 (Bartow), Died May 31st, 1991 (Nashville)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939
Roles Represented in DAHR: string bass
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-042933||10-in.||10/11/1939||Meet Doctor Foo||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-042934||10-in.||10/11/1939||Fine dinner||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-042935||10-in.||10/11/1939||She's funny that way||Thelma Carpenter ; Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-042936||10-in.||10/11/1939||Body and soul||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, string bass|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smith, William," accessed August 3, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106354.
Smith, William. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106354.
"Smith, William." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 3 August 2021.
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