news link Friday, June 23, 2006; Posted: 8:38 a.m. EDT (12:38 GMT) LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Claydes Charles Smith, a co-founder and lead guitarist of the group Kool & the Gang, has died. He was 57. Smith died Tuesday in Maplewood, New Jersey, after a long illness, his publicist said. Kool & the Gang grew from jazz roots in the 1960s to become one of the major groups of the 1970s, blending jazz, funk, R&B and pop. After a downturn, the group enjoyed a return to stardom in the '80s. Smith wrote the hits "Joanna" and "Take My Heart," and was a co-writer of others, including "Celebration," "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Boogie."