Submitted Russell Smith was a co-founding member of the Amazing Rhythm Aces, a roots rock band most notable for their 1975 hit single, "Third Rate Romance."

Submitted

Russell Smith was a co-founding member of the Amazing Rhythm Aces, a roots rock band most notable for their 1975 hit single, "Third Rate Romance."

Macon County High School graduate Russell Smith -- a singer, songwriter and co-founder of the roots rock band Amazing Rhythm Aces (best known for their 1975 hit "Third Rate Romance") -- died last Friday at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer.

Although he was born in Nashville, Smith spent his childhood in Lafayette and was a member of the Macon County Marching Tiger Band. He took his passion for music into Memphis after graduation, drawing influence from a wide range of genres such as country, gospel and soul.

"Russell's soulful voice and artfully-crafted lyrics helped develop the signature Amazing Rhythm Aces sound that defined an era and transcended genre labels," the Aces wrote in a post on their Facebook page. "It won't surprise his fans or friends and family that his love of music lasted through his final days, with some of his final conversations spent talking about the music he loved and (how) certain songs shaped his life."

Smith also found success as a solo artist, breaking into country's top 40 with his highest-charting single, "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight," and co-penned several No. 1 songs for fellow country musicians.

Artists Smith wrote chart-topping hits for include Randy Travis ("Look Heart, No Hands"), T. Graham Brown ("Don't Go to Strangers"), Don Williams ("Heartbeat in the Darkness") and Ricky Van Shelton ("Keep It Between the Lines").

Smith's family has requested donations be made to the MCHS marching band in lieu of flowers.

Funeral services for Smith were held at on Wednesday at Alexander Funeral Home in Lafayette.