Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ben E. King--Stand By Me (1961)

     Ben E. King began his career as Ben E. Nelson and a singer in The Drifters (the second version of the group....that's story is a blog in itself....). They had several big hits with him in lead with, "Save the Last Dance for Me" reaching #1 on the pop charts. After a dispute over money, he was let go, and embarked on a solo career.

     After a name changed to Ben E. King, he scored his first hit with, "Spanish Harlem", then "Stand By Me" in 1961. The song was written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and was based on the spiritual, "Lord, Stand By Me" and two lines that were rooted in Psalm 46:2-3. It was a hit twice in it's original form, in 61' and then again in 1987 in conjunction with the movie of the same name. It has also been a hit for John Lennon in 1975 (#20) , Mickey Gilley in 1980 (#1 Country), and Maurice White in 1985 (#6 R&B/Hip Hop).


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