(31 May 1898, The Bronx
, New York City
– 13 May 1950, New York City
) was known as "Whispering" Jack Smith
and was a popular baritone singer in the 1920s and 1930s who made a brief come-back in the late 1940s.Liner notes Charleston: Great Stars Of The 1920s
CD:PPCD 78132 He was a popular radio and recording artist who occasionally appeared in films.
Smith was born John Schmidt.
Smith began his professional career in 1915, when he sang with a quartet at a theater in the Bronx. After service in World War I
, he got a job in 1918 as a "song plugger
" for the Irving Berlin Music Publishing Company. He was a pianist at a radio station when he got his singing break substituting for a singer who failed to show up. Smith was exclusively on the radio, but beginning in 1925, he began making records. He also started performing on-stage on the vaudeville
circuit. In 1927, Smith toured England
, performing with the Blue Skies Theater Company
singing tunes such as "Manhattan" by Rogers and Hart
and songs by Gershwin
, when he was suddenly replaced by a new all-girl singing trio, the Hamilton Sisters & Fordyce
. Smith returned to New York and eventually went to work for NBC Radio.
He died of a heart attackStaff (15 May 1950) "“Whispering Jack Smith” is Dead" Dunkirk Evening Observer
p.11, col. 2 at the age of 51 and is buried next to his mother Anna Schmidt at......