Digging up this old thread as I, too, looked for information on Stanley Lucas and "April Lady".
We have the Smile version, which appears on Gettin' Smile and Ghost Of A Smile, and we have a version by Southern Comfort, heard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkUdxDFs60c
Smile's version was recorded in 1969 and Southern Comfort's was released in 1971, their album "Frog City" (I assume it was recorded within a year of that, possibly 1970). The SC version is reported to list the song as penned by SC band member Carl Barnwell. I don't have this LP and it has not been re-issued on CD as far as I know, so I can't confirm these few details, but I have no reason to think they're not accurately supplied.
Here are links to some info on Southern Comfort, which, sadly, does little to clear up the issue: http://www.alexgitlin.com/npp/sc.htm http://www.discogs.com/Southern-Comfort-Frog-City/release/2945842
From another thread, here is some information from poster Serry:
Song is officially credited to Stanley Lucas (BMI Work #52224). Publishers are: RIGHTSONG MUSIC INC and TWENTY FOUR KARAT MUSIC. And there are over 60 tracks officially and legally credited to Lucas.
And there are only 4 songs credited to Barnwell Carl: Even As, For Malanie, Moses In The Sunshine, Sylvie
a) I have information about the US publishers only (which makes sense here, 'cause April Lady was given to Smile by Mercury (USA) bosses)
b) We're talking about publishers, not about release companies, so for Queen, for instance, it would be Beechwood Music Corporation, not EMI, Parlophone or Elektra Records.
c) I guess if Mr Barnwell wanted to rip off Mr Lucas with royalties to that masterpiece - he wouldn't give details about the original publishers ;)
P.S. Person who's in charge in that 24 Karat Music is... Stanley Lucas himself. Its office in New York, while Rightsong Music Inc is in Los Angeles.
( I hope Serry doesn't mind my use of quotes here)
So, where does that leave us? Is Stanely Lucas a legit songwriter or is he pilfering Carl Barnwell's work on this song?
If Barnwell wrote it, how did Smile get to record it before Barnwell's own band (these things do happen)?
Or, perhaps, there are no shenanigans, Lucas wrote and it was given to both bands by the record company?