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Obituaries

William Smith; Songwriter, Rock, Soul and Gospel Keyboardist

December 11, 1997

William "Smitty" Smith, 53, a songwriter and rock, soul and gospel keyboardist. The Virginia-born Smith worked with Canadian rock bands the Soul Searchers, Grant Smith and the Power, and Motherlode, with which he recorded the popular "When I Die" in 1969. He came to Los Angeles in 1970 and worked with Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Pointer Sisters, with whom he recorded "I'm So Excited." After Smith suffered a stroke on New Year's Day 1992, several performers including Browne, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt staged a benefit performance for him at the Palace in Hollywood. After his stroke, Smith began writing poetry as well as music. On Nov. 26 in Sherman Oaks of an apparent heart attack.

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