Jack Smith

Jack Ward Smith (November 16, 1913 in Seattle, Washington – July 3, 2006), known as Smilin' Jack Smith, was a crooner, radio host and actor.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Smith was in a singing trio, The Three Ambassadors, from age 15. In 1939, he became a solo crooner with a voice described as a "strong baritone with a tenor lilt"; he was billed as "The Singer with a Smile in His Voice." He also sang with the Phil Harris Orchestra in 1932, recording "Here It is Only Monday".

Establishing a radio program, The Jack Smith Show, in 1945, he went on to host such guests as Dinah Shore, Margaret Whiting, John Serry Sr. and Ginny Simms. In a 1945 poll of radio critics by Motion Picture Daily, Smith was voted radio's "most promising star of tomorrow."

Following a guest appearance in the musical film Make Believe Ballroom (1949), Smith was offered the second lead in Warner Bros.' On Moonlight Bay (1951) opposite Doris Day.

With the television's arrival, radio saw a decline in audiences, and Smith lost his show in 1952. In 1953, Smith briefly hosted the NBC game show Place the Face, only to be replaced by Jack Bailey, who in turn was followed by Bill Cullen. Smith became the host of You Asked For It in 1958, staying with it in various roles until 1991. He also appeared as himself in the "Fearless Fonzarelli" episode of Happy Days, aired in 1975; in that episode, Smith hosted You Wanted To See It, a fictionalized version of his real show, bearing witness to Fonzie's feat of leaping 14 garbage cans on his motorcycle.

Jack Smith died in 2006 in Westlake Village, California of leukemia, aged 92.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 16th, 1913 (Bainbridge Island), Died July 3rd, 2006 (Westlake Village)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1917 - 1953

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist

Notes: Not to be confused with Whispering Jack Smith.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 67557 10-in. 4/16/1940 Cecilia Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 67558 10-in. 4/16/1940 I'm knee deep in daisies Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 68095 10-in. 9/13/1940 I wish you were jealous of me Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 68096 10-in. 9/13/1940 A faded photograh Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 83297 8/25/1952 There are just two I's in Dixie Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 83298 8/25/1952 You're gonna break somebody's heart when you grow older Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 83299 8/25/1952 [Unknown title(s)] Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca 83300 8/25/1952 Sam, the old accordion man Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 6933 11/10/1952 I'm gonna ring the bell tonight Lawrence Welk Orchestra ; Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 6934 11/10/1952 She looked down from her window Lawrence Welk Orchestra ; Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 7131 4/13/1953 [Unknown title(s)] Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 7132 4/13/1953 Knothole Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 7133 4/13/1953 Vaya con Dios Jack Smith vocalist  
Decca L 7134 4/13/1953 [Unknown title(s)] Jack Smith vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smith, Jack," accessed August 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109865.

Smith, Jack. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109865.

"Smith, Jack." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109865


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