Brenton Wood

Brenton Wood (born Alfred Jesse Smith; July 26, 1941)[1] is an American singer and songwriter known for his two 1967 hit singles, "The Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign".

Brenton Wood
Brenton Wood
Background information
Birth nameAlfred Jesse Smith
BornJuly 26, 1941 (age 77)
Shreveport, Louisiana
OriginSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California
GenresSoul, R&B, pop
InstrumentsVocals, Keyboards

Life and career

Wood was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. The family moved to San Pedro in Los Angeles, California when Wood was a child. He attended San Pedro High School for part of his freshman year before moving to Compton, where Brenton became a member of the Compton High School track team and received several awards for his athletic achievements.

Following his high school graduation, Wood enrolled in East Los Angeles College. Soon after, he took the stage name Brenton Wood, possibly inspired by the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood (some sources state that the name is in honor of his "home county"), with a second possible connection of Bretton Woods. During this period, his musical interests began to manifest themselves. He was inspired by Jesse Belvin and Sam Cooke, and he began cultivating his songwriting skills, also becoming a competent pianist.[1]

Early singles for Brent Records and Wand Records failed to chart. Wood signed with Double Shot Records, and his "The Oogum Boogum Song" reached #19 on the US Billboard R&B chart and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1967. In Southern California, "The Oogum Boogum Song" hit the top 10 on KGB-FM and #1 on KHJ. Wood's biggest hit came a few months later, as "Gimme Little Sign" hit #9 on the pop chart, #19 on the R&B charts, #2 on KHJ, and #8 in the UK Singles Chart;[2] sold over one million copies; and was awarded a gold disc.[1] The title is not actually sung in the song; the chorus instead repeats "Give Me Some Kind of Sign". Wood's "Baby You Got It" peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 during the last week of 1967 and #3 on KHJ on 31 January 1968.

A true music entrepreneur, in 1972 he formed his own record label and released, co-produced and co-wrote the Funk Soul classic "Sticky Boom Boom To Cold Part I and II" with collaborators George Semper (co-producer, arranger) and Al McKay (co-writer, performer) of Earth, Wind, and Fire fame.[3] Wood recorded a duet with Shirley Goodman. His next song to reach the charts was "Come Softly to Me" in 1977.

He returned again in 1986 with the album Out of the Woodwork,[4] which included contemporary re-recordings of his early hits, along with several new tracks, including the single, "Soothe Me".[5]His album This Love Is for Real came out in 2001. Among his later appearances was in 2006 on the Los Angeles public access program Thee Mr. Duran Show, where Wood and his band performed several of his hit singles.[6]

Recently, in 2014, he partnered with William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up for a remake of the song "Gimme Little Sign" on their recently released album, Epic Endings (available on iTunes and Amazon) which came out in August.[7]

In April 2015, Brenton Wood and his nephew Donny reunited at one of Brenton Wood's concerts in Southern California. Donny and his uncle were very thankful that a close friend of Donny, by the name of Dwayne G. Meadows Jr. was able to make the reunion possible.

Cover versions and later versions

"The Oogum Boogum Song" was covered by Alex Chilton. "Gimme Little Sign" was recorded by Danielle Brisebois, who had a hit with it in 1994. "Gimme Little Sign" was recorded by soul singer Ronnie Jones on his 1978 LP, Me and Myself. It was also recorded by Ricky Nelson. In Singapore, Brown Boys who were from the Philippines, recorded it for release on an EMI single (CHK) in 1968. It was the B-side to "Goin Out Of My Head"/"Can't Take My Eye Off You" medley. The Trailers, who were a Singaporean band also recorded it for release on an RCA EP dubbed their "Soul EP" also in 1968. Los Angeles ska/rocksteady/reggae band, Hepcat, included "Gimme Little Sign" on their Push 'N Shove album.



  • Oogum Boogum (1967) - (Double Shot) - Billboard Hot 200 #184[8]
  • Gimme Little Sign (1967) - (Liberty) - 'U.K. version of Oogum Boogum '
  • Baby You Got It (1967)
  • Come Softly (1977) - (Cream)
  • Out of the Woodwork (1986) - (Golden Oldies)
  • This Love Is for Real (2001)
  • Lord Hear My Prayer (2009)
  • Brenton Wood's 18 Best (1991)
  • 18 More of the Best, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • Better Believe It (2000) - (Demon / Westside)

Chart singles

  • "The Oogum Boogum Song" (1967) - U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B #19
  • "Gimme Little Sign" (1967) - US Billboard Hot 100 #9; US R&B #19; UK Singles Chart #8
  • "Baby You Got It" (1967) - US Billboard Hot 100 #34; US R&B #30
  • "Lovey Dovey Kinda Lovin'" (1968) - US Billboard Hot 100 #99
  • "Come Softly To Me" (1977) - US R&B #92[2][8]


  • Popdown - (1967) - (Brenton Wood appeared in the movie, alongside Julie Driscoll, Zoot Money, Andy Summers, Don Partridge, and Tony Hicks.[9]
  • Colors - (1988) - "Oogum Boogum Song" appeared on the soundtrack in the background as gang members are parked under the bridge at 4th and Lorena Streets in Los Angeles.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 - (1992) Episode 9 of Season 3 - "Oogum Boogum Song" was used in the background.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 - (1994) Episode 28 of Season 4 - "Gimme Little Sign" played in the background as the Beverly Hills High kids are at their favorite malt shop, the Peach Pit.
  • The Last Days of Disco - (1998) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (written by Brenton Wood - billed as Alfred Smith) appeared on the soundtrack.
  • Almost Famous - (2000) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (written by Brenton Wood - billed as Alfred Smith) appeared on the soundtrack.
  • Shopgirl - (2005) - "Gimme Little Sign" plays in the film.
  • Duck Dodgers - (2005) - "Oogum Boogum Song" plays on the radio at the end of the episode "A Lame Duck Mind".
  • Lymelife - (2009) - "Oogum Boogum Song" appeared on the soundtrack in the bar at one character's going away party
  • Eastbound and Down - (2010) - Season 2 Episode 5 (Chapter 11) of the HBO series, featured a segment on 4 wheel ATV's in which "Oogum Boogum Song" is played. Episode originally aired on October 24, 2010.
  • Treme - (2012) - Season 3 Episode 4 of the HBO series,"Oogum Boogum Song" was used in the background.
  • Devil's Due - (2014) - "I Like the Way You Love Me" is heard in the film and the film ends with "Oogum Boogum Song".
  • The Shack 2017- "Gimme Little Sign" is heard in the film.
  • Home Again- (2017) - "Baby You Got It"
  • Love, Simon- (2018) - "Oogum Boogum Song[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 233. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 610. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Brenton Wood - Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  4. ^ "Brenton Wood - Out Of The Woodwork (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  5. ^ "Brenton Wood - Soothe Me / $Cold Cash$ (Vinyl)". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  6. ^ "Thee Mr. Duran Show - Videos - Brenton Wood". 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  7. ^ "William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up | The Junction of Americana & 60's Soul". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  8. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1941-07-26). "Brenton Wood | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  9. ^ "Popdown (1967)". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  10. ^ Love, Simon

External links

Al McKay

Al McKay (born February 2, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and former member of the American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, and a recipient of six Grammy Awards. McKay now leads his own group which started life as Al McKay's L.A. All Stars, with former EWF members Johnny Graham, Fred White (younger brother of EWF founders Maurice White and Verdine White), Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris of the former Phenix Horns, and Andrew Woolfolk.

In 2001, the group released an album entitled Al Dente through the Japanese label Videoarts Music. A live album (Live At Mt. Fuji Jazzfestival 2002) followed in 2003 on the same record label. Both releases are available only as imports.McKay's first professional gig was as a guitarist for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at the age of 18. Throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s, McKay was hired for numerous studio sessions from different artists and produced/composed for various projects, including George Semper, Brenton Wood & Al McKay Productions, United Soul Association (Sticky Boom Boom Too Cold - 1972 / Epic, Prophesy, Mr. Woods Records), The Temptations (Truly for You – 1984 / Motown), A Taste of Honey (Ladies of the Eighties – 1982 / Capitol), and Finis Henderson (Finis – 1982 / Motown), among many others.

His instructional video for Star Licks Productions appeared on VHS in the mid-1980s. With a re-designed video sleeve, it was re-issued on VHS during the 1990s.

He now performs with his band, The Al McKay Allstars, performing a show called The Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, and tours along the major jazz festivals in the world with this 13-piece ensemble. There is also a live DVD (Live In Kaunas Jazz 2004) from this project, which was filmed in Eastern Europe. It was released on the Lithuanian label Rhythm Records.McKay is a left-handed guitar player.

Almost Famous (soundtrack)

Almost Famous is a soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released in 2000. It was awarded the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1967

This is a list of Billboard magazine's Top Hot 100 songs of 1967.

Born Like This

Born Like This is the sixth studio album by British-American rapper/producer MF DOOM. It was released under the pseudonym "DOOM" on March 24, 2009 through Lex Records. It debuted at number 52 on the Billboard 200 chart, having sold 10,895 copies as of March 29, 2009. In addition to tracks produced by DOOM, the album includes production by frequent collaborator Madlib, as well as J Dilla. The album title is borrowed from Charles Bukowski's poem "Dinosauria, We," which employs it as a cadence. A reading of the poem by Bukowski himself is in the beginning part of the track "Cellz."

Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods can refer to:

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, a village in the United States

Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, a ski resort located in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

The 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, also known as the "United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference"

The Bretton Woods system, the international monetary system created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference

Carla Olson

Carla Olson (born July 3, 1952) is a Los Angeles-based songwriter, performer and record producer.

Charles Miller (musician)

Charles Miller (June 2, 1939 - June 14, 1980) was an American musician best known as the saxophonist and flutist for multicultural Californian funk band War and the single person most responsible for the creating of the classic and 1975 #1 hit "Low Rider", on which he also sang the lead part.

Come Softly to Me

"Come Softly to Me" is a popular song written by Gretchen Christopher that was performed by The Fleetwoods, composed of Christopher, Barbara Ellis, and Gary Troxel. The original title was "Come Softly," but was changed en route to its becoming a hit. Bob Reisdorf, the owner of Dolphin Records, which in 1960 changed to Dolton Records, was responsible for the title change. He thought that "Come Softly" might be too obvious and considered risqué, so he had it changed to "Come Softly to Me." The title phrase never appears in the song's lyrics.

Recording the song at home, the group sang it a cappella with the rhythmic shaking of Troxel's car keys. The tape was then sent to Los Angeles where the sparse instrumental accompaniment was added, including an acoustic guitar played by Bonnie Guitar. Released in 1959, the single reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in April.

Gimme Little Sign

"Gimme Little Sign" is a classic soul music song, originally performed by Brenton Wood. It was released in 1967 on the album Oogum Boogum. It was written by Wood (under his real name, Alfred Smith), Joe Hooven and Jerry Winn. The most well known version is by Brenton Wood, which peaked at number 9 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and also was top 10 in the UK Singles Chart and Australia. Mighty Mo Rodgers played the electronic organ on the recording.It has also been a hit for Danielle Brisebois in 1995, and also covered by the Sattalites, Hepcat, Mina, Don Dixon, Syl Johnson in 1979 on his album Uptown Shakedown and Peter Andre. Andre's version was his second single, released in 1992, which went on to win him an ARIA Award in 1993 for highest-selling Australian single of the year. It was also covered by Roberto Jordán and Cox in one Spanish version, and by Los Straitjackets in another. Jay Dee aka J-Dilla remixed the song, which was released as a 45 rpm promo.

The song was also recorded by Constant Meeuws, a singer from a Dutch group called Skateboard, at the end of the 1970s and was produced by Rudy Bennett from the Motions. That single was released by Polydor Records.

Mark Williams covered the song on his album, Mark Williams (1975).

Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons covered the song and released it as a single from their album Step Lively (1981).

Happening '68

Happening '68 was a rock and roll variety show produced by Dick Clark Productions, which aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network. The show followed American Bandstand on Saturday afternoons. Happening '68 premiered on January 6, 1968 and was popular enough that ABC added a weekday spin-off. It's Happening ran on Mondays through Fridays from July 15, 1968 through October 25, 1968. When 1968 ended, Happening '68 became just Happening, which was canceled in October 1969.

Happening '68 was co-hosted by Mark Lindsay and Paul Revere. Their band Paul Revere and the Raiders made frequent appearances. There were guest performers lip-synching their latest releases, band contests with celebrity judges and other bits to attract teenage audiences.

List of UK top-ten singles in 1968

The UK Singles Chart is one of many music charts compiled by the Official Charts Company that calculates the best-selling singles of the week in the United Kingdom. Before 2004, the chart was only based on the sales of physical singles. This list shows singles that peaked in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart during 1968, as well as singles which peaked in 1967 and 1969 but were in the top 10 in 1968. The entry date is when the single appeared in the top 10 for the first time (week ending, as published by the Official Charts Company, which is six days after the chart is announced).

One-hundred and eleven singles were in the top ten in 1968. Ten singles from 1967 remained in the top 10 for several weeks at the beginning of the year, while "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by Marmalade were both released in 1968 but did not reach their peak until 1969. "All My Love" by Cliff Richard, "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees, "Magical Mystery Tour (EP)" by The Beatles and "Thank U Very Much" by The Scaffold were the singles from 1967 to reach their peak in 1968. Nineteen artists scored multiple entries in the top 10 in 1968. Amen Corner, Fleetwood Mac, Joe Cocker, Nina Simone and Status Quo were among the many artists who achieved their first UK charting top 10 single in 1968.

The 1967 Christmas number-one, "Hello Goodbye" by The Beatles, remained at number-one for the first four weeks of 1968. The first new number-one single of the year was "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" by Georgie Fame. Overall, twenty different singles peaked at number-one in 1968, with The Beatles (2) having the joint most singles hit that position.

List of number-one hits of 1968 (Italy)

This is a list of the number-one hits of 1968 on Italian Hit Parade Singles Chart.

List of number-one hits of 1968 (Mexico)

This is a list of songs that reached number one in Mexico according to Billboard magazine (with data provided by Audiomusica), and the Notitas Musicales magazine (with data provided by Núcleo Radio Mil, which would later provide data for Billboard as well).For unknown reasons (presumably Audiomusica's closure), the Billboard magazine did not feature any Mexican charts after the week of March 30, 1968, and only began to publish them again in March 1969 (by this time, they were using Núcleo Radio Mil as their source as well).

List of soul musicians

This is a list of soul musicians who have either been influential within the genre, or have had a considerable amount of fame. Bands are listed by the first letter in their name (not including the words "a", "an", or "the"), and individuals are listed by last name.

Rock en Español, Vol. 1

Rock en Español, Vol. 1 is an album by instrumental rock band Los Straitjackets consisting of Spanish language covers of classic 1950s and 1960s English language rock songs. The band at the time of recording was Danny Amis on guitar, Eddie Angel on guitar and bass, Pete Curry on bass and guitar, and Jason Smay on drums and percussion. The band recruited guest vocalists Big Sandy of Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, and Little Willie G. of Thee Midniters.

Sanremo Music Festival 1969

The Sanremo Music Festival 1969 was the 19th annual Sanremo Music Festival, held at the Sanremo Casino in Sanremo, province of Imperia between 30 January and 1 February 1969.The show was presented by Nuccio Costa and Gabriella Farinon.According to the rules of this edition every song was performed in a double performance by a couple of singers or groups. The winners of the Festival were Bobby Solo and Iva Zanicchi with the song "Zingara".

Steve Propes

Stephen C. "Steve" Propes (b. about 1943) is a Long Beach, California record collector, disc jockey, and writer.

During the 1980s, Propes hosted an oldies/rhythm and blues radio show on KLON which had a large effect on the classic R&B revival of the time. He interviewed dozens of blues and R&B legends, such as Joe Turner, Lowell Fulson, Ruth Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, Hank Ballard, Bobby Day, Richard Berry, Don Julian, Brenton Wood, and Eugene Church, as well as doo-wop enthusiast George Carlin. He has since hosted a similar show on Simmons Cable television in Long Beach.

He is known for his collectors' books listing the monetary value of rock 'n' roll records. In 1989, Propes founded the Southern California Doo-Wop Society, with the help of some students from a rock 'n' roll history class he taught at Cal State Long Beach in the mid-'80s.According to his entry at "LA Radio People", "Steve does consulting work in the history of rock & roll, record evaluation for the biggest company in the rare record business, Good Rockin' Tonight and he is heard on"Steve Propes writes for Beachcomber, a Long Beach-based magazine. In February 2015, he wrote a lengthy article detailing the history of Long Beach radio stations.

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