He majored in harpsichord at Ohio State University, but was equally interested in rock and, in particular, “progressive” rock. He was a partner in Owl Recording Studios Inc. in Columbus Ohio in the early 70s, recording two albums with prog rock band "The Load". These albums were re-released as compact discs in the ’90s on the Laser’s Edge label. Earlier he played and sang in bands: The Lowbrows, J. D. Blackfoot, The Grayps and Osiris. The Studio moved to California in 1977.
After the disbanded The Load in 1979 Sterling remaining in L.A. to work as a session musician.
Smith’s has recorded with some of the biggest names in music including The Beach Boys, Randy Meisner (from The Eagles), The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Bob Dylan and Barry Manilow to name, but a few.He also had time to tour and was musical director and onstage pianist for Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryhsnikov’s 1993-94 “Cutting Up” tour.
MOVIE & TV Soundtrack credits include:
“Wild at Heart,” “Footloose” (original version), “Old School,” “Smart House,” “Powwow Highway,” “Flashback,” “Silver Spoons,” “Buck James” and numerous TV shows and movies that few saw.