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Longtime FSM readers will remember fondly the "Collector’s Corner" columns written by Dr. Robert L. Smith of Decatur, IL, and the CD Price Guides that he authored and we published. (Copies of the 2nd and final edition are still available.) 

I am sad to report that Bob passed away in May 2009; this from his wife Kathy who emailed me. I don't have many details, and am not going to trouble Kathy at this sad time, but I believe it was from complications from a brain tumor that Bob first had several years ago. 

Bob was a great ally and asset in the early years of Film Score Monthly in 1990s; he was a hugely knowledgeable collector of vinyl and CDs and gave me great encouragement. I always looked forward to his "Collector's Corner" arriving in the mail as I learned so much from his writing about rare soundtracks and what it was like to collect them. (He and Kathy visited me once during the summer on Martha's Vineyard.)

Later, Bob wanted to Jerry Osborne one better by making a thorough and fair CD price guide and we published two editions. He was great to work with both creatively and business-wise and I like to think we even made him some money. We never got around to a third edition—by that time the Internet was making price guides on paper obsolete—but the second was quite an accomplishment. 

Bob was special in that he was a passionate collector but also a devoted listener who truly loved film music...his email address began with "fortsolitude" (he loved the Superman score) and I remember his great enthusiasm for the Golden and Silver Age masters like Rózsa, North, Williams and the rest. Collecting soundtracks was a hobby—he was a family doctor by trade—and he pursued it with great enthusiasm, devotion and valor as he aimed to share his knowledge and finds with the rest of us. 

I really can't say enough for his contributions to our hobby and how much I enjoyed working with him, and I'm sorry to bring this bad news. I hope people can share their memories in the "comments" of this article.

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Comments (13):Log in or register to post your own comments
The second edition, although now almost 10 years old, is still a beautiful and valuable resource for anyone interested in soundtracks. Robert's occasional comments on scores proved that he was far more than a statistician; he was truly passionate about film music and perusing his book is like going on a tour with an expert guide. His wisdom and insight are much to be appreciated and will be greatly missed.

I just looked in my collection and I have the first edition that was all black and white. I remember when I got this, I was SO delighted to see all the CD's and get an idea of how much stuff was worth. It also had lots of b/w photos and near complete Varese and Bay Cities CD's and others.

Very sad news indeed.
Thanks Smith for helping us fans out.

So sorry to hear of Bob's passing. I was a contributor to his Second Edition of the U.S. SOUNDTRACKS ON CD book, mostly as a resource for information on rarities and promos as I had a very large CD collection at that time and was well connected in the CD collector circuit. I never actually had the chance to meet him in person, but we shared a lot of correspondence and phone calls, and he was a delightful person to share both film music and professional stories with. I'm a dentist, and he was a physician, so we bonded on several levels. Bob will certainly be missed in our world of film music. His family will be in my prayers.

SCOTT

I tore a coupon out of the back pages of the then new 1997 Osborne price guide and sent for Dr. Robert L. Smith's pamphlet on the first ten years of soundtracks pressed on compact disc and received a hand numbered (497/1,000) booklet that laid everything that I'd been missing out on. In one felt swoop I discovered the alternative Universe of FSM, INTRADA, BAY CITIES, ( I was already a member of the first Varese Sarabande soundtrack club since I heard about (Cherry 2000) and, well, you already know how one thing leads to another-

There's just one thing I've always wanted to know- did Dr. Smith pipe film music into his reception area, and what kind of satisfaction did it bring him? My guess is "yes" he did, and "yes" he loved it.

I am deeply saddened by this news from Lukas. Bob and I were vinyl soundtrack column contemporaries in the early days of FSM and we corresponded by mail and e-mail and spoke on the phone frequently. He visited Recordman's Vinyl Vault at my home near Syracuse and we traded soundtrack and classical albums ( his second big collectible at the time was RCA "Living Stereo" classical albums). He also had a love for drum and bugle corps competitions We often cross checked our respective column information with each other. He was a warm, funny man whom I liked a lot and will miss very much, My sympathies to his wife and family.
Mike

RIP

I have no. 94 of "US Soundtracks On Compact Disc 1985 - 1994".

I have been looking in it for years. When it was new there was no internet, so the info was most welcome.

Am quite saddened by this. Robert was a fine person and humanitarian physician.
We traded and corresponded in the early days of FSM.
No wonder had not heard about him for long time.
My sincere condolences to family.
Alex


An obituary can be found at the website of the funeral home:

http://www.brintlinger-earl.com/obituaries_detail.php?obitID=1390

Lukas

An obituary can be found at the website of the funeral home:

http://www.brintlinger-earl.com/obituaries_detail.php?obitID=1390

Lukas


He was only 47 years old?

I'm not familiar with any of his writings, but he has always been a "name" I've known since I became interested in film music back in the early 90's. I'm sorry to hear of his passing, especially at such a young age.

Very sad news to hear of his passing.

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