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Brenton Wood (born Alfred Jesse Smith; July 26, 1941) is an American singer and songwriter, best known for his two 1967 hit singles: "The Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign".



Alfred Jesse Smith was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on July 26,1941 . When Wood was a child his family moved west to San Pedro in Los Angeles, California. He attended San Pedro High School for part of his freshman year before moving to Compton. In his high school years his family relocated to nearby Compton, where Brenton became a member of the Compton High School track team and received several awards for his athletic achievements.

Following his high school graduation, Wood enrolled in East Los Angeles College; soon after, he took the stage name Brenton Wood, possibly inspired by the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood (some sources state that the name is in honor of his "home county"). During this period, his musical interests began to manifest themselves. He was inspired by Jesse Belvin and Sam Cooke, and he began cultivating his songwriting skills, also becoming an accomplished pianist.

Early singles for Brent Records and Wand Records failed to chart. After signing with Double Shot Records, Wood had a hit with "The Oogum Boogum Song" in the spring of 1967. It reached number 19 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 34 on the corresponding Billboard Hot 100 pop listing. His biggest hit came in September of the same year, as "Gimme Little Sign" hit #9 on the pop chart and #19 on the R&B charts. In the song, Gimme Little Sign is not sung, instead the chorus repeats "Give Me Some Kind of Sign".

"The Oogum Boogum Song" was sampled in the early 90's by Rapper Proper Dose and was titled Firma Hina .

Wood continued to perform, even recording a duet with Shirley Goodman. He reached the charts again in 1977, when "Come Softly to Me" registered in the lower reaches of the listings. Following its release, Wood became part of the oldies soul circuit. In 2001, he returned with an album of new material, This Love Is for Real.

"Gimme Little Sign" was later covered by Danielle Brisebois, who had a hit with it in 1994. "Gimme Little Sign" was also recorded by Ricky Nelson.

Though Brenton Wood had few charted singles, his entire work is considered to be quintessential lowrider cruisin' oldies, and are featured on an innumerable amount of oldies compilations popular with a Latino, specifically Chicano, audience.[citation needed]

Brenton Wood does not own the rights to any of his songs. They are all owned by famous Los Angeles DJ, Art Laboe.





  • Gimme Little Sign - (Liberty) - (1967)
  • The Oogum Boogum Man - (Double Shot) - (1967) - Billboard Hot 200 - #184
  • Baby You Got It - (1967)
  • Come Softly - (Cream) - (1977)
  • Lord Hear My Prayer- (2009)


  • Brenton Wood's 18 Best - (1991)
  • 18 More of the Best, Vol. 2 - (1999)
  • Better Believe It - (Demon / Westside) - (2000)


  • "Baby You Got It" / "Catch You On the Rebound" - (1967) - Billboard Hot 100 - #34
  • "Gimme Little Sign" / "I Think You've Got Your Fools Mixed Up"- (1967) - U.S. - #9 / UK Singles Chart - #8
  • "The Oogum Boogum Song" - (1967) - #34
  • "Lovey Dovey Kinda Lovin'" - (1968) - #99
  • "Im The One Who Knows'"


  • Popdown - (1967) - (Brenton Wood appeared in the movie, alongside Julie Driscoll, Zoot Money, Andy Summers, Don Partridge and Tony Hicks)
  • Almost Famous - (2000) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (written by Alfred Smith) appears on the soundtrack.
  • Colors - (1988) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" (Written by Brenton Woods as Alfred Smith) appears on the soundtrack in the background as gang members are parked under the famous bridge at 4th and Lorena streets in Los Angeles.
  • Beverly Hills 90210 Episode 28 of Season 4 - "Gimme Little Sign" is playing in the background as the Beverly Hills High kids are hanging out at their favorite malt shop, the Peach Pitt.
  • Beverly Hills 90210 Episode 9 of Season 3 - "Oogum Boogum Song" is used in the background.
  • Lymelife - (2009) - Wood's "Oogum Boogum Song" appears on the soundtrack in the bar at one character's going away party

See also

External links


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