‘Smooth’: The Oral History

20 years ago, it was definitively a hot one. Very amusing stories.

Palmese: In May, I sent out white-labels [copies of the single to radio stations]. That’s the way we did it back then, old school. You didn’t have streaming or Shazam. But the CDs just had the name of the song, not the artist. They were marked “Smooth” and “Mystery Artist.” I wanted to avoid a knee-jerk reaction from program directors who would say, “Santana? Are you kidding? He’s not in our demo any longer.” Carlos’ guitar is very identifiable so there were a few who guessed it, but the purpose was not to get that objection.

Davis: Honestly, I’m hearing this for the first time.

Serletic: Everybody was scared of a 50-year-old guitar player.

via Rolling Stone.