The Info List - George Benson

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George Benson
George Benson
(born March 22, 1943)[3] is an American musician, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. He began his professional career at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt. A former child prodigy, Benson first came to prominence in the 1960s, playing soul jazz with Jack McDuff and others. He then launched a successful solo career, alternating between jazz, pop, R&B singing, and scat singing. His album Breezin'
was certified triple-platinum, hitting no. 1 on the Billboard album chart in 1976.[4] His concerts were well attended through the 1980s, and he still has a large following.[4] Benson has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


1 Biography

1.1 Early career 1.2 1970s and 1980s 1.3 1990s to present 1.4 Personal life

2 Discography 3 Awards

3.1 Grammy Awards

4 References 5 External links

Biography[edit] Early career[edit] Benson was born and raised in the Hill District
Hill District
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[5][6] At the age of seven, he first played the ukulele in a corner drug store, for which he was paid a few dollars. At the age of eight, he played guitar[5] in an unlicensed nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, but the police soon closed the club down. At the age of 9, he started to record. Out of the four sides he cut, two were released: "She Makes Me Mad" backed with "It Should Have Been Me",[1] with RCA-Victor in New York; although one source indicates this record was released under the name "Little Georgie",[5]while the 45rpm label is printed with the name George Benson.The single was produced by Leroy Kirkland for RCA's rhythm and blues label, Groove Records.[7] As he has stated in an interview, Benson's introduction to showbusiness had an effect on his schooling. When this was discovered (tied with the failure of his single) his guitar was impounded. Luckily, after he spent time in a juvenile detention centre his stepfather made him a new guitar.* Benson attended and graduated from Schenley High School.[8][9] As a youth he learned how to play straight-ahead instrumental jazz during a relationship performing for several years with organist Jack McDuff. One of his many early guitar heroes was country-jazz guitarist Hank Garland.[10][11] At the age of 21, he recorded his first album as leader, The New Boss Guitar, featuring McDuff.[3] Benson's next recording was It's Uptown
It's Uptown
with the George Benson
George Benson
Quartet, including Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber
Ronnie Cuber
on baritone saxophone.[3] Benson followed it up with The George Benson
George Benson
Cookbook, also with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber
Ronnie Cuber
on baritone and drummer Marion Booker.[3] Miles Davis
Miles Davis
employed Benson in the mid-1960s, featuring his guitar on "Paraphernalia" on his 1968 Columbia release, Miles in the Sky before going to Verve Records. Benson then signed with Creed Taylor's jazz label CTI Records, where he recorded several albums, with jazz heavyweights guesting, to some success, mainly in the jazz field. His 1974 release, Bad Benson, climbed to the top spot in the Billboard jazz chart, while the follow-ups, Good King Bad
Good King Bad
(#51 Pop album) and Benson and Farrell (with Joe Farrell), both reached the jazz top-three sellers. Benson also did a version of The Beatles's 1969 album Abbey Road
Abbey Road
called The Other Side of Abbey Road, also released in 1969, and a version of "White Rabbit", originally written and recorded by San Francisco rock group Great Society, and made famous by Jefferson Airplane.[3] Benson played on numerous sessions for other CTI artists during this time, including Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
and Stanley Turrentine, notably on the latter's acclaimed album Sugar. 1970s and 1980s[edit]

George Benson
George Benson
"Breezin'" (1976)

Title track sample from George Benson's Breezin′ album

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By the mid-to-late 1970s, as he recorded for Warner Bros. Records, a whole new audience began to discover Benson. With the 1976 release Breezin', Benson sang a lead vocal on the track "This Masquerade" (notable also for the lush, romantic piano intro and solo by Jorge Dalto), which became a huge pop hit and won a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
for Record of the Year. (He had sung vocals infrequently on albums earlier in his career, notably his rendition of "Here Comes the Sun" on the Other Side of Abbey Road
Abbey Road
album.) The rest of the album is instrumental, including his rendition of the 1975 Jose Feliciano
Jose Feliciano
composition "Affirmation". In 1976, Benson toured with soul singer Minnie Riperton, who had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer earlier that year and, in addition, appeared as a guitarist and backup vocalist on Stevie Wonder's song "Another Star" from Wonder's album Songs in the Key of Life. During the same year, 1976, the top selling album ' Breezin'
was released on the Warner Brothers label featuring the Bobby Womack penned title track and the Leon Russell
Leon Russell
penned This Masquerade
This Masquerade
which is now a jazz standard. Both tracks won Grammy awards that year and the LP put Benson into the musical limelight both in the USA and in Europe. Ironically, Benson had been discouraged up until this time, from using his singing skills, mainly as the company decision makers felt he wasn't competent enough vocally, and he should stick to playing the guitar. It was here that he clearly proved them wrong. He also recorded the original version of "The Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
bio-pic, The Greatest, which was later covered by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
as "Greatest Love of All".[12] During this time Benson recorded with the German conductor Claus Ogerman.[13] The live take of "On Broadway", recorded a few months later from the 1978 release Weekend in L.A., also won a Grammy. He has worked with Freddie Hubbard on a number of his albums throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The Qwest record label (a subsidiary of Warner Bros., run by Quincy Jones) released Benson's breakthrough pop album Give Me The Night, produced by Jones. Benson made it into the pop and R&B top ten with the song "Give Me the Night" (written by former Heatwave keyboardist Rod Temperton). He had many hit singles such as "Love All the Hurt Away", "Turn Your Love Around", "Inside Love", "Lady Love Me", "20/20", "Shiver", "Kisses in the Moonlight". More importantly, Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
encouraged Benson to search his roots for further vocal inspiration, and he rediscovered his love for Nat Cole, Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway
in the process, influencing a string of further vocal albums into the 1990s. Despite returning to his jazz and guitar playing most recently, this theme was reflected again much later in Benson's 2000 release Absolute Benson, featuring a cover of one of Hathaway's most notable songs, "The Ghetto". Benson accumulated three other platinum LPs and two gold albums.[12] 1990s to present[edit]

George Benson
George Benson
– "This Masquerade"

Sample track from George Benson's Breezin'
album (1976)

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In 1990, Benson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music. [14] In 1985, Benson and guitarist Chet Atkins
Chet Atkins
went on the smooth jazz charts with their collaboration "Sunrise", one of two songs from the duo released on Atkins' Stay Tuned album. In 1992, Benson appeared on Jack McDuff's Colour Me Blue album, his first appearance on a Concord album. Benson signed with Concord Records in 2005 and toured with Al Jarreau in America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to promote their 2006 multiple Grammy-winning album Givin' It Up.[citation needed] To commemorate the long-term relationship between Benson and Ibanez and to celebrate 30 years of collaboration on the GB Signature Models, Ibanez
created the GB30TH, a very limited-edition model featuring a gold-foil finish inspired by the traditional Japanese Garahaku art form.[15] In 2009, Benson was recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz
Master, the nation's highest honor in jazz.[16] Benson performed at the 49th issue of the Ohrid Summer Festival in Macedonia on July 25, 2009, and his tribute show to Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
as part of the Istanbul International Jazz
Festival in Turkey on July 27. In the fall of 2009, Benson finished recording a new album entitled Songs and Stories, with Marcus Miller, producer John Burk,[17] and session musicians David Paich and Steve Lukather.[18] As a part of the promotion for his recent Concord Music Group/Monster Music release Songs and Stories, Benson has appeared and/or performed on The Tavis Smiley Show,[19] Jimmy Kimmel Live![20] and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[21] Benson toured throughout 2010 in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim, including an appearance at the Singapore Sun Festival.[22] He performed at the Java Jazz
Festival March 4–6, 2011. In 2011, Benson released the album Guitar Man—revisiting his 1960s/early-1970s guitar-playing roots with a 12-song collection of covers of both jazz and pop standards overseen by producer John Burk.[23] In June 2013, Benson released his fourth album for Concord Records, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, which featured Wynton Marsalis, Idina Menzel, Till Brönner, and Judith Hill. In September, he returned to perform at Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio
festival, in Rio de Janeiro, 35 years after his first performance at this festival, which was then the inaugural one.[24] In July 2016, Benson participated as a mentor in the Sky Arts programme Guitar Star in the search for the UK and Republic of Ireland’s most talented guitarist.[25] Personal life[edit] Benson has been married to Johnnie Lee since 1965 and has seven children. Benson describes his music as focusing more on love and romance, and eschewing overt sexuality, due to his commitment to his family and religious practices, with Benson serving as a missionary for Jehovah's Witnesses.[26] Benson stated that he donated considerable funds to the religion's Watchtower Society. [27] Benson has been a resident of Englewood, New Jersey.[28] Discography[edit]

Benson in Montreux 1986

Main article: George Benson
George Benson
discography Awards[edit] Grammy Awards[edit] List of Grammy Awards received by George Benson[29]

Year Category Title Notes

1977 Best R&B Instrumental Performance "Theme from Good King Bad"

1977 Best Pop Instrumental Performance "Breezin'"

1977 Record of the Year "This Masquerade" Tommy LiPuma, producer

1979 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "On Broadway"

1981 Best Jazz
Vocal Performance, Male "Moody's Mood"

1981 Best R&B Instrumental Performance "Off Broadway"

1981 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "Give Me the Night"

1984 Best Pop Instrumental Performance "Being with You"

2007 Best Traditional R&B Performance "God Bless the Child" with Al Jarreau
Al Jarreau
& Jill Scott

2007 Best Pop Instrumental Performance "Mornin'"


^ a b Australian ABCTV Flashez interview January 1, 1977. ^ "45 discography for Groove Records". Globaldogproductions.info. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ a b c d e Richard S. Ginell (1943-03-22). " George Benson
George Benson
Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 54. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  ^ a b c Bird, Christiane (2001). The Da Capo Jazz
And Blues Lover's Guide to the U.s. Da Capo Press. p. 196. ISBN 0306810344. Retrieved September 8, 2012.  ^ Mitchem, Stephanie Y.; Townes, Emilie Maureen (2008). Faith, Health, and Healing in African American Life. ABC-CLIO. p. 111. ISBN 0275993752. Retrieved September 8, 2012.  ^ http://rootsvinylguide.com/ebay_items/r-b-45-george-benson-it-should-have-been-me-2-groove-hear ^ "NEW – Pittsburgh's Schenley school – whose alums include Andy Warhol and George Benson
George Benson
– to close". The Tribune-Democrat. June 26, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2012.  ^ Smydo, Joe (December 10, 2005). "Panel to study if Schenley High can survive". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 12, 2012.  ^ " Hank Garland
Hank Garland
living in shadow of his greatness". MSNBC. Associated Press. July 8, 2004. Retrieved September 12, 2012.  ^ Upchurch, Frances (December 20, 1978). "But Hank Sugarfoot Garland Was To Play His Guitar Again". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved September 12, 2012.  ^ a b "Digital Videos Episodes (TV Series)". VH1. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ "The Work of Claus Ogerman". Bjbear71.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=NtVbEzSkFfwC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=George+Benson+honorary+doctorate+berklee&source=bl&ots=aB8FnS1Q_7&sig=ChyAWedbMDR_7UeH1-IZ44NU7l8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN4I29mvjXAhXTySYKHekyBZoQ6AEITjAH#v=onepage&q=George%20Benson%20honorary%20doctorate%20berklee&f=false ^ "Ibanez.com". Ibanez.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ National Endowment for the Arts (March 22, 1943). "NEA Jazz
Masters: George Benson, Vocalist and Solo Instrumentalist (Guitar)". Nea.gov. Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ "Biography". George Benson. August 25, 2009. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2009.  ^ "Tavis Smiley . Shows . George Benson
George Benson
. October 6, 2009". PBS. October 6, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ "Jimmy Kimmel Live Tomorrow Night, Wednesday Sep. 23!". George Benson. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ Mergner, Lee. " Jazz
Articles: George Benson
George Benson
Appearing With The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show — By Lee Mergner — Jazz Articles". Jazztimes.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2010.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.  ^ "George Benson: Guitar Hero". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ "G1 - Benson e Ivan Lins levam 'risada mais gostosa' e choro ao Rock in Rio - notícias em Rock in Rio
Rock in Rio
2013". G1.globo.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ "Tony Visconti, George Benson
George Benson
and Miloš confirmed as mentors in Sky Arts' new series of Guitar Star". Corporate.sky.com. 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2017-05-02.  ^ Walden, Celia. " George Benson
George Benson
interview: love songs are one of the things in life that last". Telegraph. Telegraph. Retrieved May 28, 2013.  ^ Robert E. Johnson, associate editor. " George Benson
George Benson
tells how he copes with fame, family, career and the stresses of show business"Jet Magazine 1 May 1989, pages 57-59, [1] ^ "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive
Internet Archive
as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. " George Benson
George Benson
-- A longtime resident of Englewood, Benson is a superb jazz guitarist who has found fame as a pop vocalist." ^ "Past Winners Search". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved December 12, 2011. 

29 - George Benson
George Benson
Anthology (2000) info booklet

External links[edit]

Book: George Benson

Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Benson.

George Benson
George Benson
at AllMusic Official website

v t e

George Benson


Studio albums

The New Boss Guitar of George Benson It's Uptown The George Benson
George Benson
Cookbook Giblet Gravy Shape of Things to Come Goodies Tell It Like It Is The Other Side of Abbey Road Beyond the Blue Horizon White Rabbit Body Talk Bad Benson Good King Bad Benson & Farrell Breezin' In Flight Livin' Inside Your Love Give Me the Night In Your Eyes Pacific Fire I Got a Woman and Some Blues 20/20 While the City Sleeps... Collaboration Twice the Love Big Boss Band That's Right Standing Together Absolute Benson Irreplaceable Givin' It Up Songs and Stories Guitar Man Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

Live albums

In Concert-Carnegie Hall Weekend in L.A.


Space The George Benson
George Benson

Main Singles

"This Masquerade" (1976) "Breezin'" (1976) "The Greatest Love of All" (1977) "On Broadway" (1978) "Love Ballad" (1979) "Give Me the Night" (1980) "Love X Love" (1980) "Never Give Up on a Good Thing" (1981) "Turn Your Love Around" (1981) "Inside Love (So Personal)" (1983) "Lady Love Me (One More Time)" (1983) "Feel Like Makin' Love" (1983) "In Your Eyes" (1983) "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" (1985) "Shiver" (1986) "Teaser" (1986) "Let's Do It Again (1988)

Book:George Benson

v t e

Grammy Award
Grammy Award
for Record of the Year


"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)" by Domenico Modugno
Domenico Modugno
(1959) "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin
(1960) "Theme from A Summer Place" by Percy Faith
Percy Faith
(1961) "Moon River" by Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
(1962) "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
(1963) "Days of Wine and Roses" by Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
(1964) "The Girl from Ipanema" by Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto
& Stan Getz
Stan Getz
(1965) "A Taste of Honey" by Herb Alpert
Herb Alpert
and the Tijuana Brass (1966) "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
(1967) "Up, Up and Away" by The 5th Dimension
The 5th Dimension
(Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamont McLemore, Ron Townson) (1968) "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkel (Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon) (1969) "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" by The 5th Dimension
The 5th Dimension
(Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamont McLemore, Ron Townson) (1970) "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel (Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon) (1971) "It's Too Late" by Carole King
Carole King
(1972) "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack
(1973) "Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack
(1974) "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John
(1975) "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille (Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille) (1976) "This Masquerade" by George Benson
George Benson
(1977) "Hotel California" by Eagles (Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Joe Walsh) (1978) "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel
Billy Joel
(1979) "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers
(Jeffrey Baxter, John Hartman, Keith Knudsen, Michael McDonald, Tiran Porter, Patrick Simmons) (1980)


"Sailing" by Christopher Cross
Christopher Cross
(1981) "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
Kim Carnes
(1982) "Rosanna" by Toto (Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate, Steve Porcaro) (1983) "Beat It" by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
(1984) "What's Love Got to Do with It" by Tina Turner
Tina Turner
(1985) "We Are the World" by USA for Africa
USA for Africa
(1986) "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood
Steve Winwood
(1987) "Graceland" by Paul Simon
Paul Simon
(1988) "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
(1989) "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1990) "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins
Phil Collins
(1991) "Unforgettable" by Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
with Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
(1992) "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
(1993) "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
(1994) "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow
(1995) "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal (1996) "Change the World" by Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
(1997) "Sunny Came Home" by Shawn Colvin
Shawn Colvin
(1998) "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
Celine Dion
(1999) "Smooth" by Santana (Rodney Holmes, Tony Lindsay, Karl Perazzo, Raul Rekow, Benny Rietveld, Carlos Santana, Chester Thompson) featuring Rob Thomas (2000)


"Beautiful Day" by U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr.) (2001) "Walk On" by U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr.) (2002) "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones
Norah Jones
(2003) "Clocks" by Coldplay
(Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion, Phil Harvey, Chris Martin) (2004) "Here We Go Again" by Ray Charles
Ray Charles
and Norah Jones
Norah Jones
(2005) "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day
Green Day
(Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Frank Edwin Wright III) (2006) "Not Ready to Make Nice" by Dixie Chicks
Dixie Chicks
(Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison) (2007) "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse
(2008) "Please Read the Letter" by Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss
and Robert Plant
Robert Plant
(2009) "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon
(Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill, Nathan Followill) (2010) "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum
(Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood) (2011) "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
(2012) "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye
featuring Kimbra
(2013) "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk
Daft Punk
featuring Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams
& Nile Rodgers (2014) "Stay with Me" (Darkchild version) by Sam Smith (2015) "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson
featuring Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars
(2016) "Hello" by Adele
(2017) "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 85419947 LCCN: n82099720 ISNI: 0000 0000 7838 7381 GND: 120446901 SELIBR: 331536 SUDOC: 150684576 BNF: cb13891366t (data) MusicBrainz: 467f69b6-8d6d-4d2c-bfad-e89adf2806ff BNE: XX853