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Jerome Smith
Jerome Smith
July 28, 2000
Age 47 
Bulldozer Accident 
 
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Editor's Pick:  KC & the Sunshine Band 25th Anniversary Collection
 
 
 
 

OBITUARY 
       
KC & The Sunshine Band Guitarist Dies In Construction Accident
       
           Jerome Smith, rhythm guitarist and founding member of KC & the 
      Sunshine Band, died last Friday (July 28) in a freak construction accident 
      in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

             Smith, who was working in the building and construction trades as 
      a heavy-equipment operator, fell off a bulldozer he was driving and was 
      crushed by the machine. Smith, who turned 47 on June 18, will be cremated  
      Saturday (August 5). He is survived by his wife Carolyn, daughter Jenika, and 
      granddaughter Jamouria. 

             In a statement, KC said, "I am totally shocked by this overwhelming 
      tragedy. I am heartsick and filled with sadness. Jerome Smith was a dear 
      friend and a gifted performer. He influenced future guitarists and many  
      groups with his playing. His memory lives on." 

             KC is collecting tributes to Smith from fellow musicians and fans,  
      which he plans to have bound into a "musical memory book" that he'll  
      give to Smith's family. 

             Smith was the rhythm guitarist on KC & the Sunshine Band's 
      Number One hits "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," 
      "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty," "I'm Your Boogie Man,"  
      and "Please Don't Go," as well as on "Keep It Comin' Love" and "Boogie 
      Shoes." 

             -- Bruce Simon, New York

          
        Original member of KC & the Sunshine Band dies in accident 
            From the AP Wire 
        
      Jerome Smith, founding guitarist of KC & The Sunshine Band, died  
      Friday after being crushed in a construction accident.   He was 47.  
        
      Smith fell off a bulldozer and was crushed by the machine. Smith,  
      who had left the band in 1979 because of drug problems, was recently  
      working toward rejoining the band by maintaining his sobriety, said Mel  
      Haber, manager for the group's leader, Harry Wayne Casey.  
        
      Smith, a Miami-area native, founded the group in 1974 with Casey,  
      bass player Richard Finch, drummer Robert Johnson and conga player 
      Fermin Goytisolo.  
        
      After a pair of forgettable songs, the group reached the top of Billboard 
      Magazine's charts in 1975 with ``Get Down Tonight.'' Before Smith left  
      the group, it had five No. 1 songs, including ``Boogie Shoes'' and ``That's  
      the Way (I Like It),'' and three Grammys.  
       
 
NY TIMES
        
           Jerome Smith, of K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Dies at 47
                 Jerome Smith, the original guitarist for the disco party kings K. C. and 
                 the Sunshine Band, died on Friday after a construction accident, The 
                 Associated Press reported. He was 47 and lived in Miami.  

                His body was crushed in the accident, which took place at the construction 
                site where he worked in West Palm Beach, the news agency said.  

                Mr. Smith's suave sound became familiar to disco fans before he joined K. 
                C. and the Sunshine Band, when he played the signature riff on George 
                McRae's "Rock Your Baby." He was soon invited by the production team 
                of Harry Wayne Casey (also known as K. C.) and Richard Finch to join 
                the Sunshine Band.  

                His guitar, altered in the studio to sound like a synthesizer, provided the 
                hook for "Get Down Tonight," the band's breakthrough hit. Before he left 
                the group in 1979, it had five No. 1 songs, including "That's the Way (I 
                Like It)," "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" and "I'm Your 
                Boogie Man."  

                Mr. Smith had other musical successes, playing on 10 albums by the disco 
                burlesque artist Blowfly and touring in America with the Australian group 
                the Divinyls.  

                In the 1990's he contributed to the soundrack of the television show 
                "Melrose Place." He was reportedly hoping to rejoin K. C. and the 
                Sunshine Band at the time of his death. 

 
       
 

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All-Music Guide
 
 Born: June 18, 1953 in Miami, FL
Editor's note: We would appreciate any biographical information on Jerome Smith
 
 
  
 
 

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