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O. C. Smith

The life of O. C. Smith, according to one biography, ‘has had the flow and tempo of a hit song that finds its audience and never lets go.” His million-seller song “Little Green Apples” won a Grammy nomination.

Smith also is known for the hits “Hickory Holler’s Tramp” and “Daddy;’s Little Man,” and is remembered for singing the themes from the motion pictures “The Learning Tree”and “Shaft’s Big Score.” Songs such as “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “For the Good Times, ” “That’s Life,” “Don’t Misunderstand,” “Dreams Come True” and “What “Cha Gonna Do” are all contributions to the music world from Smith.

Smith’s story begins in the small community of Mansfield, LA. At age 10, his parents, both teachers, relocated to Little Rock. After his parents divorced, Smith and his mother moved to Los Angeles.

Smith later returned to Louisiana to attended Southern University at Baton Rouge, majoring in psychology. He served the Air Force and Special Services as an entertainer on military bases all over the world.

After his stint with Uncle Same, Smith settled in New York and began his singing career, working in clubs in the winter and at the legendary “Borsch Belt” hotels in the Catskill Mountains in the summer. He eventually signed on with Count Basie and toured with him for three years. He left Basie for a solo career that got a boost with the hit “Little Green Apples.”

At the height of his music career, Smith began studying Religious Science and subsequently became a minister. In 1985, he founded the City of Angels Church of Religious Science.