Ben E. King

Ben E. King ( born September 28, 1938 as Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson / North Carolina) is an American R & B and soul singer, best known as the lead tenor of the vocal group the Drifters in 1959 and then continued his career as a soloist.


Ben E. King began as a singer with the Five Crowns end of the year 1955, when this vocal group since October 1952 brought out plates. As for King James Clark joined the group in late 1955 I Can not Pretend was taken. You can hear Ben E. King at the next single Kiss And Make Up ( RnB # 6901 ), which was published in February 1958 and the group lists only as Crowns. The RnB label on the success of Doc Pomus composer had just released this way a single before it was liquidated. This sound recording from the pen of Pomus brought the Crowns a an appearance at the Apollo Theatre in New York, where they were allowed to occur on 30 May 1958, in the supporting slot for Drifters. Their manager George Treadwell, dissatisfied with the decreasing curve of his success Drifters was so impressed by the Crown's appearance that he fired his Drifters ado. As the name Treadwell Drifters belonged, the Crowns were renamed Drifters and so King the lead singer of the Drifters.

His first recording session under the new name took place on March 6, 1959 were recorded as There Goes My Baby / Oh My Love and two other tracks. By produced by Leiber / Stoller There Goes My Baby Drifters which celebrated a successful comeback with a first rank in the R & B charts and a second place in the Pophitparade. Along with it sang Charlie Thomas (tenor ), Doc Green ( baritone) and Elsbeary Hobbs ( bass), all emerged from the Crowns. In the second session of 9 July 1959, the title Dance With Me / True Love, True Love, which were also well formulated with a second place in the R & B charts created.

Solo career

After less than a year, Ben E. King, the Drifters left in favor of a solo career. Already on 17 December 1959 he was a soloist in front of the microphone and sang the Otis Blackwell composition Brace Yourself, but after publication in May 1960, missed the charts. Shortly after, he again took on 23 December 1959 on three tracks with the Drifters, including This Magic Moment, which achieved fourth place in the R & B charts. On 19 May 1960 he was with the Drifters in the recordings to Save The Last Dance For Me / Nobody But Me on the mic, with each of the first place in both charts the biggest hit of the group. This million-seller, too, could not be dissuaded from his solo plans King. His final separation in September 1960 exacerbated the problems of occupation already taken by strong fluctuations personnel group. Due to the short residence time King was listen only on 11 of the 124 Drifters title as the lead singer, which is nearly 9% of the published title of the Drifters.

The meeting, scheduled for October 27, 1960 recording session lists Ben E. King now finally as soloists, accompanied by the orchestra of the Atlantic arranger Stan Applebaum. It originated Spanish Harlem / First Taste of Love, the Young Boy Blues and Stand By Me First Spanish Harlem was published, the one tenth ranked in the Pophitparade. The biggest hit for King as a soloist was originating from the same session Stand By Me, which took first place in the R & B charts for four weeks. By the end of the 1960s he celebrated several other hits. After a Hitpause of around five years old, he succeeded in 1975 with Supernatural making a comeback ( U.S. # 5, R & B # 1 ). Until 1980, followed by other smaller single success in the R & B charts, but Kings great time was over.

Cover versions

The song Stand by Me Me 1986 in the eponymous film Stand by use and 25 years after the first publication again a hit.

From Stand by Me, there are numerous cover versions, including 4 of the Cause, the German music project Lemon Ice ( Geeno & JayLow ), John Lennon, Otis Redding, Willy DeVille, the punk rock band NOFX and Pennywise. His I ( Who Have Nothing ) was often gecovert and Others by Tom Jones, John Lennon and Shirley Bassey.

Discography (selection)

  • Brace Yourself / Show Me the Way (May 1960)
  • Spanish Harlem / First Taste of Love ( December 1960 )
  • Stand by Me / On the Horizon ( April 1961 )
  • Amor / Souvenir of Mexico (July 1961)
  • Young Boy Blues / Here Comes the Night ( September 1961 )
  • Ecstasy / Yes ( February 1962 )
  • Do not Play That Song / The Hermit of Misty Mountain ( March 1962 )
  • Too Bad / My Heart Cries For You (1962 )
  • How Can I Forget / Gloria Gloria ( February 1963 )
  • I ( Who Have Nothing ) / The Beginning of Time (June 1963)
  • I Could Have Danced All Night / Gypsy ( November 1963 )
  • That's When It Hurts ( April 1964)
  • It's All Over / Let The Water Run Down ( September 1964 )
  • Seven Letters / River of Tears ( December 1964 )
  • Goodnight My Love / I Can not Break The News To Myself ( March 1966 )
  • So Much Love / Do not Drive Me Away (May 1966)
  • Tears Tears Tears / A Man Without A Dream ( April 1967 )
  • Supernatural Thing Part I / Supernatural Thing Part II ( December 1974)