Not to be confused with the Dutch band of the same name a few years later, Smyle was formed in the late ’60s by Burlington, Ontario friends Ron Denmans and Ray Durritt on guitars, bassist Peter Rihbany, and a drummer simply going by the name of Mel.
They hooked up with manager Herb Lock, and spent the next few years playing clubs around the Toronto area. They eventually signed with local independent label Ruby Records, whose only other signee was The Village STOP, and released their debut single, “Somebody Else’s Lie” b/w “Why Couldn’t You?” (both written by Denmans) in ’69 to little fanfare.
After a year of honing their chops and coming out of the garage grunge a little more polished, they signed with Columbia. By now Mel was replaced behind the drumkit by Tim Regan. They changed the spelling of their name and were shipped off to Toronto’s Sound Studio with Doug Riley and producer John Williams, famous for The Robert E Lee Brigade and Allan J Ryan.
To test the waters, the lead single, “Glory Glory” b/w “Will I Get Back Home Tomorrow” was released in the spring of ’71. It spent the better part of three months on the chart, peaking at #23, and led up to their debut self-titled album that spring. A foray into light psychadelia, the record also featured covers of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and “Maybelline” from Chuck Berry.
Next up was “Gotta Get To It,” written and sang by Durritt. But it failed to chart, and after some moderately successful shows throughout southern Ontario and into the US, they went back to the studio, this time with Bob Gallo.
They released two new singles by the summer of ’72, starting with Gallo’s “It’s The World” b/w “Everybody’s Singing” from Durritt. They went back to Denmans’ material for “How Many Roads Can You Fly” b/w “Take It All” by that June. Neither charted. The intent was to release a second album, but based on lack of sales, Columbia cut the chord later that summer. By that fall, the band was broken up, and everyone went on to other projects until getting out of the business completely.
Where You Goin’
Gotta Get To It
Will I Get Back Home Tomorrow
It’s Not Hard
See Me Smiling Now
Better Road Ahead