HALL OF FAME
G.E. Smith, musical director/guitarist
For nine seasons, G.E. Smith gave the Saturday Night Live Band a face and a personality, something the band had not had up to that point.
George Edward Smith had made his fame as a session and touring guitarist, first coming to prominence on the "Gilda Live" stage show, eventually becoming the first of Gilda Radner's two husbands. He was later a member of Hall and Oates' backing group, which also included Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, and doing a humorous turn in H&O's video "Jingle Bell Rock" as a guitar-playing Grandma (with T-Bone playing Grandpa).
Both Smith and Wolk were picked by Howard Shore to play in the reconstituted SNL Band for the 1985-1986 season, but Smith's charisma and world of musical influences quickly cemented the new band's personality (with most of the core of that 1985-1986 band still holding their chairs through the 2007-2008 season). The next season, Smith was named bandleader and co-musical director, and the band was moved out of the rafters and right at center stage, where they've stayed ever since. Smith himself stayed until 1995, playing his Fender Telecaster and other prized guitars every week, and bringing friends like Lonnie Mack ("Memphis") to sit in with the band from time to time. Smith still continues to perform and record, along with wife Taylor Barton.
Return To SNL Band