In the summer of 1969, William “Smitty” Smith and Steve Kennedy formed Motherlode along with Wayne Stone and Kenny Marco. In that same summer, Smitty and Steve co-wrote the hit single When I Die. The title track was a smooth, soulful, slick and beautiful pop classic that went onto the Top 20 Canadian and United States charts. The song was not originally a hit on the radio but the band’s reciprocal deal in the United States with Neil Bogart’s Buddah Records made the song a #18 hit. When I Die sold upwards of 500,000 copies, eventually making it to #5 on the Canadian charts and causing RPM magazine to declare Motherlode Canada’s first super group.