GEORGE BENSON

March 22nd, 1943



the Funky Soul story - George Benson 01

 

The Early Years

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.

 

She Makes Me Mad

 

 

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.

 

Miles Davis - Paraphernalia

 

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)

 

the Funky Soul story - George Benson 04

 

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.

 

This Masquerade

 

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".

 

George Benson - The Greatest Love of All

 

Whitney Houston - Greatest Love of All

 

During this time 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.

 

On Broadway

 

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"...

 

Give Me The Night

 

Turn Your Love Around

 

Inside Love (So Personal)

 

Lady Love Me (One More Time)

 

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.

 

the Funky Soul story - George Benson 05

 

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.

 

the Funky Soul tory - GB30TH

 

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.

 

 

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'"

 

> GEORGE BENSON <

 

source : official website

 


Discography


Studios albums

 

1964 / The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1966 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1966 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1968 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1968 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1968 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

 

1976 / Good King Bad

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1976 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1976 Benson & Farrell

A1. Flute Song

A2. Beyond The Ozone

A3. Camel Hump

B1. Rolling Home

B2. Old Devil Moon

 

1976 / Breezin'

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1976 Breezin'

A1. Breezin'

A2. This Masquerade

A3. Six To Four

B1. Affirmation

B2. So This Is Love?

B3. Lady

 

1977 / In Flight

the Funky Soul story - 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

 

1979 / Livin' Inside Your Love

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1983 In Yours 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1983 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1984 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 1984 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...

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

 

1990 / Big Boss Band

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

 

2009 / Song and Stories

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - 2009 Song 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

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - 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)

 


Lives albums

 

1975 / In Concert-Carnegie Hall

the Funky soul story - George Benson - 1975 In Concert-Carnegie Hall

A1. Gone

A2. Take Five

B1. Octane

B2. Summertime

 

1977 / Weekend In L.A.

the Funky soul story - 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

 

1989 / 'Round Midnight

the Funky soul story - George Benson - 1989 '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

 

2005 / Best Of George Benson Live

the Funky soul story - George Benson - 2005 Best Of George Benson Live

01. Turn Your Love Around

02. This Masquerade

03. Breezin'

04. Love X Love

05. Deeper Than You Think

06. The Ghetto

07. Never Give Up On A Good Thing

08. Hipping The Hop

09. Give Me The Night

10. On Broadway

 

2007 / Live from Montreux

the Funky soul story - 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

 


Lives DVD

 

1986 / Live At Montreux

the Funky Soul story - 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

the Funky Soul story - George Benson - Absolutely Live 2000

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 Funky Soul story - Playlist to radioshow The Black Music Live #42, with George Benson