Ian Freebairn-Smith co-wrote "The Wailing of the Willow" with Harry Nilsson.


Nilsson likely met Freebairn-Smith through Perry Botkin. Botkin and Freebairn were uncredited singers on the soundtrack for the 1962 film Hatari! and were two of the founders of The Singers, Inc.


Freebairn-Smith was born in Seattle, Washington, on March 4, 1962. After performing as singer with the California Dreamers and The Singers, Inc., Freebairn-Smith began arranging and composing music, mostly for films and television.


In 2017, Frebairn-Smith's daughter, Alison Freebairn-Smith began working as a music administrator for Perry Botkin, Jr. Productions, Inc.