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.
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Birth and Death Data: Born May 2, 1917 (Bartow), Died May 31, 1991 (Nashville)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939
Roles Represented in DAHR: string bass
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|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 March 30, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106354.
Smith, William. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106354.
"Smith, William." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 30 March 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Wikipedia: William Oscar Smith
Discogs: William Smith
Linked Open Data Sources
LCNAR: Smith, W. O. (William Oscar), 1917-1991 - http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n91070239
Wikidata: William Oscar Smith - http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q16012698
MusicBrainz: William Oscar Smith - https://musicbrainz.org/artist/d852d5a6-aea5-4397-8aa6-d7055a2ab34c
Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license
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