Michael Smith, drummer for Paul Revere And The Raiders

by Russell Hall
Goldmine Magazine - June 1, 2001

Michael Smith, drummer for Paul Revere And The Raiders during the group's 1960s heyday, died of natural causes March 6, 2001, in Kona Community Hospital in Hawaii. He was 58.

Born and raised in Beaverton, Ore., Smith was recruited into The Raiders in 1962, when group members Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay spotted him playing guitar at a small club in Portland. Making the switch to drums, Smith quickly established himself as the band's onstage jokester. After signing to Columbia Records in 1963, The Raiders released their first single, a version of the much-covered "Louie, Louie" that rose to the top of the West Coast charts. Two years later, The Raiders got a bigger boost when they were hired by Dick Clark to host Where The Action Is, a daily afternoon TV show for ABC.

Smith remained with the group until 1975, when he left and established a primary residence in Hawaii. During his tenure with the band, The Raiders enjoyed a flurry of hits, including "Kicks," "Good Thing" and "Indian Reservation." Speaking to West Hawaii Today, Raiders' manager Roger Hart described the drummer as "quiet, introspective and somewhat shy [when he was] out of the spotlight."

Smith is survived by two sons, Rory and Rio; two daughters, Alexandra and Jenna; his father, Howard William Smith; his mother, Mildred Kugler; and one brother, Jerry Smith. Close associates and members of The Raiders are said to be planning a private reunion in his memory.

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