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El Paso rock scene, musician and producer.
For the musical and movie composer, see [a=Kenneth Leslie-Smith].
For the bluegrass bassist, see [a=Kenneth Smith (5)].
For the classical flute player, see [a=Kenneth Smith (6)].
Kenneth Smith joined his first band, The Sherwoods, with his friend Bill taylor Sparks in the early 1960s. The bands major achievement was releasing a single on the Exeter label, the same Texas label that had originally recorded the Bobby Fuller Four.
After some initial success the group disbanded, Smith and Sparks got into the recording and production side of things and decided to start their own label in El Paso, Texas. They called it "Sueme," after the popular mid-1960s putdown, "So, if you don't like it, sue me." They recorded many local bands , a great record of the distinct Texas/El Paso Rock sound, and put out one various artists compilation called I Love You Gorgo.
Sparks eventually went into the military service and went to Vietnam. Upon his return Sparks decided to move out to Memphis, where his uncle owned a record distributorship called Hot Line Records. .
Smith soon followed. The two began recording bands in a number of studios, but ended up recording at Royal Studios, which was an eight-track studio owned by Hi Records.
It was that the pair recorded Leviathan, a psychedelic/progressive rock group from Memphis. Hi Records signed Smith and Sparks to a deal to put out the Leviathan material, but apparently Hi was less impressed with the other bands, and the label proved short-lived.
More recently, Smith and Sparks put out a compilation by another of their artists, Lou Pride, called Lou Pride: The Memphis/El Paso Sessions 1970-1973.
Currently Smith resides in western, Washington state. He still continues to record music under the name Ootsman, which stands for One Of The Sherwoods. Alongside his musical career Smith has also managed to gain a degree in painting from the Memphis College of Art. For the last 13 years he has taught video and audio at the near by Art Institute of Seattle.
Being a fan of the spoken word, Smith also produced a great podcacst series all about the El Paso rock scene. The story of a very distinct sound that seemed, a head, of its time. A sound reminiscent of the Kyuss, Queens of The Stone Age desert sound.