RIP Danny Smythe, drummer for the Box Tops



We’ve just learned Danny Smythe, a founding member of the Box Tops, died on July 6. The news broke a day later on Vintage Vinyl News.

Wearing a mop top and some Coke-bottle glasses, Smythe was a self-taught beast on the drums. Check out this solo below:

Sponsored link (story continues below)

He’s best-known as the drummer for the Box Tops, and he performs the lead-in on what’s arguably their most famous song, The Letter:

With Alex Chilton’s gruff voice front-and-center, the Box Tops made good use of their first time in a recording studio. They cut “The Letter,” a less-than-two-minute perfect piece of blue-eyed soul that opens with Smythe’s count-in, and took it to No. 1. in the summer of 1967. The song was also nominated for two Grammys — Group Vocal Performance and Contemporary Vocal Group — but lost in both categories to the 5th Dimension’s Jimmy Webb-penned “Up, Up and Away.” (via UCR)

A photo posted by Record Reserve (@recordreserve) on

Smythe would go on to become a driven photographer, posting thousands of stock photo images on his website, www.dannysmythe.com.

RIP, Danny Smythe.

Related Posts

One comment to “RIP Danny Smythe, drummer for the Box Tops”
  1. One of my favorite songs while in Jr. High … The Letter was a bitchen song. It reminds me so much of my brother, who has been gone a long time. RIP Danny and Robbie, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *