Fred Smith, 72; L.A. Songwriter Followed in Mother’s Footsteps

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fred Smith, 72, a songwriter and record producer who owned Keyman Records, died Friday in Los Angeles of a heart attack.

Smith, the son of Central Avenue singing star Effie Smith, graduated from Los Angeles’ now-defunct Polytechnic High School and followed his mother into the music business.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Aug. 7, 2005 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday August 07, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Fred Smith -- The obituary of Fred Smith in Wednesday’s California section said he wrote “Harlem Shuffle” for the singing duo Bob and Earl. In fact, he co-produced the recording; the song was written by the singers, Bob Relf and Earl Nelson.

With his partner Cliff Goldsmith, who died in 1991, Smith wrote songs and produced records for the quartet the Olympics. Their biggest collaborative effort was “Western Movies” in 1958, which reached the top 10 in the United States and the top 20 in Britain. They followed that with “Baby Hully Gully” in 1960.


Smith also wrote for Bob and Earl, including their 1963 hit “Harlem Shuffle,” and for the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, among others.