Bennie Smith was a central player in the Blues and R&B scene in Saint Louis, from the 1950s to his death in 2006. Playing and recording with greats such as Ike Turner and Jimmy "Soul" Clark, Aretha Franklin, Little Milton, the Drifters, Albert King and Rufus Thomas. It has been rumored that Bennie even brought an amp for a young BB King to play on a last minute gig. Bennie was often found playing at St. Louis's BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups on hot summer night. For many St. Louisans, there was nothing better than celebrating a Cardinal's win with an evening of great Bennie Smith blues after the baseball game. In 2003 Mayor Francis Slay declared October 5th to be Bennie Smith Day in the City of Saint Louis.