George Benson

George Benson
Black to the Music - english version

MARCH 22nd, 1943

Black to the Music - George Benson - logo header
Biography
Black to the Music - George Benson - header

George Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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 in an unlicensed nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, but the police soon closed the club down. At the age of 10, he recorded his first single record, « She Makes Me Mad », with RCA-Victor in New York, under the name Little Georgie.

Black to the Music - George Benson - 01
Black to the Music - George Benson - 02

At the age of 21, he recorded his first album as leader, The New Boss Guitar, featuring Jack McDuff. Benson’s next recording was It’s Uptown with the George Benson Quartet, including Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber on baritone saxophone. Benson followed it up with The George Benson Cookbook, also with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber on baritone and drummer Marion Booker. 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.

George 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.

  • Beyond The Blue Horizon (1971)
  • White Rabbit (1972)
  • Body Talk (1973)
  • Bad Benson (1974)
  • Good King Bad (1976)
  • Benson & Farrell (1976)
Black to the Music - George Benson - 03

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 » which became a huge pop hit and won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

In 1976, George Benson appeared as a guitarist and backup vocalist on Stevie Wonder’s song « Another Star » from Wonder’s album Songs in the Key of Life. He also recorded the original version of « The Greatest Love of All » for the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-pic, The Greatest, which was later covered by Whitney Houston as « Greatest Love of All ».

During this time George Benson recorded with the German conductor Claus Ogerman. 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 got many hit singles such as « Turn Your Love Around »« Inside Love »« Lady Love Me »« 20/20« , « Shiver »

More importantly, Quincy Jones encouraged Benson to search his roots for further vocal inspiration, and he re-discovered his love for Nat Cole, Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway in the process, influencing a string of further vocal albums into the 1990s.

Black to the Music - George Benson - 04

In 2007, 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.

Black to the Music - George Benson - 05

In 2009, George Benson was recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest honor in jazz. 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, ‘An Unforgettable Tribute to 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, and session musicians David Paich and Steve Lukather.

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 festival, in Rio de Janeiro, 35 years after his first performance at this festival, which was then the inaugural one.

In July 2017, Benson mark’s his 40th anniversary and  Ibanez has created a limited run of his signature guitars for the occasion

Black to the Music - George Benson - 07aGB40TH
Black to the Music - George Benson - 07b GB40
Black to the Music - George Benson - 07c GB40

In 2018, he was invited by the group Gorillaz on the song « Humility », the 1st single from the album The Now Now.

During his career, far from over, George Benson has already received 10 Grammy Awards :

  • 1977, Best R&B Instrumental Performance « Theme from Good King Bad »
  • 1977, Best Pop Instrumental Performance « Breezin' »
  • 1977, Record of the Year « This Masquerade »
  • 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 »
  • 2007, Best Pop Instrumental Performance « Mornin' »
source : official website
Discography
1964 - The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1964 The New Boss Guitar of George Benson

A1. Shadow Dancers
A2. The Sweet Alice Blues
A3. I Don’t Know

B1. Just Another Sunday
B2. Will You Still Be Mine?
B3. Easy Living
B4. Rock-A-Bye

1966 - It's Uptown

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1966-1 It's Uptown

A1. Clockwise
A2. Summertime
A3. Ain’t That Peculiar
A4. Jaguar
A5. Willow Weep For Me
A6. A Foggy Day

B1. Hello Birdie
B2. Bullfight
B3. Stormy Weather
B4. Eternally
B5. Myna Bird Blues

1966 - The George Benson Cookbook
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1966-2 The George Benson Cookbook

A1. The Cooker
A2. Benny’s Back
A3. Bossa Rocka
A4. All Of Me
A5. Big Fat Lady

B1. Benson’s Rider
B2. Ready And Able
B3. The Borgia Stick
B4. Return Of The Prodigal Son
B5. Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid

1968 - Giblet Gravy
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1968-1 Giblet Gravy

A1. Along Comes Mary
A2. Sunny
A3. What’s New?
A4. Giblet Gravy
A5. Walk On By

B1. Thunder Walk
B2. Sack Of Woe
B3. Groovin’
B4. Low Down And Dirty

1968 - Shape Of Things To Come
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1968-2 Shape of Things to Come

A1. Footin’ It
A2. Face It Boy, It’s Over
A3. Shape Of Things To Come
A4. Chattanooga Choo Choo

B1. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream
B2. Shape Of Things That Are And Were
B3. Last Train To Clarksville

1968 - Goodies
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1968-3 Goodies

A1. I Remember Wes
A2. Carnival Joys
A3. You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman
A4. That Lucky Old Sun
A5. Julie

B1. Windmills Of Your Mind
B2. Doobie, Doobie Blues
B3. Song For My Father
B4. People Get Ready

1969 - Tell It Like It Is

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1969 Tell It Like It Is

A1. Soul Limbo
A2. Are You Happy?
A3. Tell It Like It Is
A4. Land Of 1000 Dances
A5 .Jackie, All
A6. Dontcha Hear Me Callin’ To Ya

B1. Water Brother
B2. My Woman’s Good To Me
B3. Jama Joe
B4. My Cherie Amour
B5. Out In The Cold Again

1970 - The Other Side Of Abbey Road
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1970 The Other Side of Abbey Road

A1. Golden Slumbers
A2. You Never Give Me Your Money
A3. Because / Come Together
A4. Oh! Darling

B1. Here Comes The Sun
B2. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
B3. Something / Octopus’s Garden
B4. The End

1971 - Beyond The Blue Horizon

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1971 Beyond the Blue Horizon

A1. So What?
A2. The Gentle Rain

B1. All Clear
B2. Ode To A Kudu
B3. Somewhere In The East

1972 - White Rabbit
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1972 White Rabbit

A1. White Rabbit
A2. Theme From Summer Of ’42
A3. Little Train

B1. California Dreaming
B2. El Mar

1973 - Body Talk
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1973 Body Talk

A1. Dance
A2. When Love Has Grown
A3. Plum

B1. Body Talk
B2. Top Of The World

1974 - Bad Benson
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1974 Bad Benson

A1. Take Five
A2. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
A3. My Latin Brother

B1. No Sooner Said Than Done
B2. Full Compass
B3. The Changing World

1975 - In Concert-Carnegie Hall
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1975 In Concert-Carnegie Hall copie

A1. Gone
A2. Take Five

B1. Octane
B2. Summertime

1976 - Good King Bad
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1976-1 Good King Bad

A1. Theme From Good King Bad
A2. One Rock Don’t Make No Boulder
A3. Em

B1. Cast Your Fate To The Wind
B2. Siberian Workout
B3. Shell Of A Man

1976 - Benson & Farrell
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1976-2 Benson & Farrell

A1. Flute Song
A2. Beyond The Ozone
A3. Camel Hump

B1. Rolling Home
B2. Old Devil Moon

1976 - Breezin'
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1976-3 Breezin'

A1. Breezin’
A2. This Masquerade
A3. Six To Four

B1. Affirmation
B2. So This Is Love?
B3. Lady

1977 - In Flight
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1977 In Flight

A1. Nature Boy
A2. The Wind And
A3. The World Is A Ghetto

B1. Gonna Love You More
B2. Valdez In The Country
B3. Everything Must Change

1977 - Weekend In L.A.
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1977 Weekend in L.A.

A1. Weekend In L.A.
A2. On Broadway

B1. Down Here On The Ground
B2. California P.M.
B3. The Greatest Love Of All

C1. It’s All In The Game
C2. Windsong
C3. Ode To A Kudu

D1. Lady Blue
D2. We All Remember Wes
D3. We As Love

1979 - Livin' Inside Your Love
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1979 Livin' Inside Your Love

A1. Livin’ Inside Your Love
A2. Hey Girl
A3. Nassau Day

B1. Soulful Strut
B2. Prelude To Fall
B3. A Change Is Gonna Come

C1. Love Ballad
C2. You’re Never Too Far From Me
C3. Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing

D1. Welcome Into My World
D2. Before You Go
D3. Unchained Melody

1980 - Give Me The Night
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1980 Give Me the Night

A1. Love X Love
A2. Off Broadway
A3. Moody’s Mood
A4. Give Me The Night

B1. What’s On Your Mind
B2. Dinorah, Dinorah
B3. Love Dance
B4. Star Of A Story
B5. Midnight Love Affair
B6. Turn Out The Lamplight

1983 - In Yours Eyes
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1983-1 In Your Eyes

A1. Feel Like Making Love
A2. Inside Love (So Personal)
A3. Lady Love Me (One More Time)
A4. Love Will Come Again

B1. In Your Eyes
B2. Never Too Far To Fall
B3. Being With You
B4. Use Me
B5. Late At Night
B6. In Search Of A Dream

1983 - Pacific Fire

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1983-2 Pacific Fire

A1. Knock On Wood
A2. Moody’s Mood
A3. Bandoleros Caballa

B1. Melodia Español
B2. Pacific Fire
B3. Let Your Love Come Out
B4. Em

1984 - I Got A Woman And Some Blues
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1984-1 I Got a Woman and Some Blues

A1. I Got A Woman
A2. Out Of The Blue
A3. Bluesadelic
A4. Durham’s Turn

B1. Good Morning, Blues
B2. I Worry ‘Bout You
B3. Without Her
B4. She Went A Little Bit Farther
B5. Goodbye, Columbus

1984 - 20/20

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1984-2 20 20

A1. No One Emotion
A2. Please Don’t Walk Away
A3. I Just Wanna Hang Around You
A4. Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You
A5. Beyond The Sea

B1. 20/20
B2. New Day
B3. Hold Me
B4. Stand Up
B5. You Are The Love Of My Life

1986 - While The City Sleeps...

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1986 While the City Sleeps...

A1. While The City Sleeps
A2. Kisses In The Moonlight
A3. Shiver
A4. Love Is Here Tonight

B1. Teaser
B2. Secrets In The Night
B3. Too Many Times
B4. Did You Hear Thunder

1987 - Collaboration
with Earl Klugh
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1987 Collaboration

A1. Mt. Airy Road
A2. Mimosa
A3. Brazilian Stomp

B1. Dreamin’
B2. Since You’re Gone
B3. Collaboration
B4. Jamaica

1988 - Twice The Love

Black to the Music - George Benson - 1988 Twice the Love

A1 Twice The Love
A2 Starting All Over
A3 Good Habit
A4 Everybody Does It
A5 Living On Borrowed Love

B1 Let’s Do It Again (Mix 1)
B2 Stephanie
B3 Tender Love
B4 You’re Still My Baby
B5 Until You Believe

1989 - Tenderly
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1989 Tenderly

A1. You Don’t Know What Love Is
A2. Stella By Starlight
A3. Stardust
A4. At The Mambo Inn

B1. Here, There And Everywhere
B2. This Is All I Ask
B3. Tenderly
B4. I Could Write A Book

1989 - 'Round Midnight
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1989 George Benson with The McCoy Tyner Trio - Round Midnight

01. Stella By Starlight
02. Here, There & Everywhere
03. Don´t Leave Me
04. Round Midnight
05. Monk´s Dream
06. Hipside
07. At The Mambo Inn

1990 - Big Boss Band
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1990 Big Boss Band

A1. Without A Song
A2. Ready Now That You Are
A3. How Do You Keep The Music Playing
A4. On Green Dolphin Street
A5. Baby Workout

B1. I Only Have Eyes For You
B2. Portrait Of Jennie
B3. Walkin’ My Baby Back Home
B4. Skylark
B5. Basie’s Bag

1993 - Love Remembers
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1993 Love Remembers

A1. I’ll Be Good To You
A2. Got To Be There
A3. My Heart Is Dancing
A4. Love Of My Life
A5. Kiss And Make Up
A6. Come Into My World

B1. Love Remembers
B2. Willing To Fight
B3. Somewhere Island
B4. Lovin’ On Borrowed Time
B5. Lost In Love

1996 - That's Right
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1996 That's Right

01. That’s Right
02. The Thinker
03. Marvin Said
04. True Blue
05. Holdin’ On
06. Song For My Brother
07. Johnnie Lee
08. Summer Love
09. P Park
10. Footprints In The Sand
11. When Love Comes Calling
12. Where Are You Now?

1998 - Standing Together
Black to the Music - George Benson - 1998 Standing Together

01. C-Smooth
02. Standing Together
03. All I Know
04. Cruise Control
05. Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk
06. Still Waters
07. Fly By Night
08. Back To Love
09. Keep Rollin’

2000 - Absolute Benson
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2000 Absolute Benson

01. The Ghetto
02. El Barrio
03. Jazzenco
04. Deeper Than You Think
05. One On One
06. Hipping The Hop
07. Lately
08. Come Back Baby
09. Medicine Man

2003 - Irreplaceable
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2003 Irreplaceable

01. Irreplaceable
02. Cell Phone
03. Black Rose
04. Take You Out
05. Strings Of Love
06. Missing You
07. Six Play
08. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
09. Stairway To Love
10. Arizona Sunrise

2006 - Givin' It Up
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2006 Givin' It Up

01. Breezin’
02. Mornin’
03. ‘Long Come Tutu
04. God Bless The Child
05. Summer Breeze
06. All I Am
07. Ordinary People
08. Let It Rain
09. Givin’ It Up For Love
10. Every Time You Go Away
11. Four
12. Don’t Start No Schtuff
13. Bring It On Home To Me

2007 - Live from Montreux
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2007 Live from Montreux

cd1

01. Feel Like Making Love
02. Off Broadway
03. Weekend in L.A.
04. Lady Love Me (One More Time)
05. Love Ballad
06. Beyond the Sea
07. Affirmation
08. My Latin Brother


cd2

01. Love X Love
02. In Your Eyes
03. The Greatest Love of All
04. 20/20
05. Never Give Up on a Good Thing
06. Turn Your Love Around
07. On Broadway

2009 - Song and Stories
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2009 Songs and Stories

01. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
02. Family Reunion
03. Show Me Your Love
04. A Telephone Call Away
05. Someday We’ll All Be Free
06. Nuthin’ But A Party
07. Come In From The Cold
08. Exotica
09. Rainy Night In Georgia
10. One Like You
11. Living In High Definition
12. Sailing

2011 - Guitar Man
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2011 Guitar Man

A1. Tenderly
A2. I Want To Hold Your Hand
A3. My Cherie Amour
A4. Naima
A5. Tequila
A6. Don’t Know Why

B1. The Lady In My Life
B2. My One And Only Love
B3. Paper Moon
B4. Danny Boy
B5. Since I Fell For You
B6. Fingerlero

2013 - Inspiration : A Tribute To Nat King Cole
Black to the Music - George Benson - 2013 Inspiration - A Tribute To Nat King Cole

01. Mona Lisa
02. Just One Of Those Things
03. Unforgettable
04. Walkin’ My Baby Back Home
05. When I Fall In Love
06. Route 66
07. Nature Boy
08. Ballerina
09. Smile
10. Straighten Up And Fly Right
11. Too Young
12. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
13. Mona Lisa (Reprise)

1986 - Live At Montreux
Black to the Music - George Benson - DVD George.Benson - Live at Montreux 1986

01. Feel Like Making Love
02. Off Broadway
03. Weekend In LA
04. Omar’s Tune
05. Lady Love Me (One More Time)
06. Love Ballad
07. Moody’s Mood
08. Beyond The Sea
09. Affirmation
10. My Latin Brother
11. Love x Love
12. In Your Eyes
13. The Greatest Love Of All
14. 20/20
15. Never Give Up On A Good Thing
16. Turn Your Love Around
17. Take Five
18. On Broadway

2000 - Absolutely Live
Black to the Music - George Benson - DVD George Benson – Absolutely Live

01. All Of Me
02. I Only Have Eyes For You
03. Beyond The Sea
04. Deeper Than You Think
05. Hipping The Hop
06. Lately
07. The Ghetto
08. In Your Eyes
09. Moody’s Mood
10. Danny Boy
11. This Masquerade
12. Breezin’
13. Love X Love
14. Turn Your Love Around
15. Never Give Up On A Good Thing
16. Give Me The Night
17. On Broadway

Radioshow
The Black Music Live #42 - George benson (Live at Waterfront Hall, Belfast - 2000)
  • Black to the Music - George Benson - The Black Music Live 42All Of Me
  • I Only Have Eyes
  • For You
  • Beyond The Sea
  • Deeper Than You Think
  • Hipping The Hop
  • Lately
  • The Ghetto
  • In Your Eyes
  • Moody’s Mood
  • Danny Boy
  • This Masquerade
  • Breezin’
  • Love X Love
  • Turn Your Love Around
  • Never Give Up On A Good Thing
  • Give Me The Night
  • On Broadway