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Posts Tagged ‘Brook Benton’

RIP, Cornell Dupree (May 8, 2011) Jazz and R&B Guitar Great

Posted by on May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree
December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree was a respected jazz and R&B guitarist who, over the course of his career, played on records by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, and Brook Benton.  In his early years, Dupree could be found playing in the legendary Atlantic Records house band, with whom he played on such iconic records as Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia,” and Franklin’s “Respect” on which he provided the instantly recognizable opening guitar riff.  He was also a founding member of the much respected jazz funk combo, Stuff.  Dupree also released several of his own albums throughout the years, his most popular being 1994’s Bop ‘n’ Blues.  Cornell Dupree had been suffering from emphysema and had been waiting for a lung transplant when he passed away on May 8, 2011.  He was 68.

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Died On This Date (April 9, 1988) Brook Benton

Posted by on April 9, 2010

Brook Benton
September 19, 1931 – April 9, 1988

Brook Benton was an R&B singer from South Carolina who began his career in the late ’40s when he moved to New York and began writing songs for the likes of Clyde McPhatter and Nat King Cole. It wasn’t until 1959 that Benton scored a hit of his own with the release of “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” which shot up the #3 on the Billboard singles chart.  Benton’s last major hit came in 1970 with the release of of “Rainy Night In Georgia.” He passed away on April 9, 1988 from spinal meningitis at the age of 56, but not before charting 49 songs on the Billboard singles chart.

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Died On This Date (March 14, 1991) Doc Pomus

Posted by on March 14, 2010

Jerome “Doc” Pomus
June 27, 1925 – March 14, 1991

doc-pomus.jpgThere isn’t enough room here to list the world class artists who have recorded or covered songs written by the great Doc Pomus. From Brook Benton to the New York Dolls; from Andy Williams to Elvis Costello; from Dolly Parton to the Misfits. Okay, one more, from Dusty Springfield to Johnny Thunders. Oh and did I mention “Viva Las Vegas?”  Pomus’ life was no picnic, however.  As a child, he developed polio, so he needed crutches.  And after an automobile accident later in life, those crutches were replaced by a wheelchair. Doc Pomus succumbed to lung cancer on March 14, 1991 at the age of 65.

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Died On This Date (January 8, 2008) Clyde Otis / Prolific Songwriter and Label Exec

Posted by on January 8, 2010

Clyde Otis
September 11, 1924 – January 8, 2008


Clyde Otis was a successful songwriter, producer and label executive who, over the course of his career, is said to have written or co-written over 800 songs.  He was most closely associated with Brook Benton with whom he collaborated on many hit recordings.  He also worked with the likes of Dinah Washington, Timi Yuro and Sarah Vaughan.  His songs have been recorded by such artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis and Aretha Franklin.  And in 1994, Natalie Cole’s Take A Look, won him a Grammy as producer.  Clyde Otis was 83 when he passed away on January 8, 2008.

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Died On This Date (December 14, 1963) Dinah Washington

Posted by on December 14, 2009

Dinah Washington (Born Ruth Jones)
August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963

dinah-washingtonDinah Washington was one of popular music’s most influential R&B, jazz and blues singers.  Over a career that spanned just 20 years, she charted over 30 records in the U.S. and U.K.  Washington learned to play the piano as a child, and by her teens, she was singing in local gospel groups.  By eighteen, she was singing with Lionel Hampton’s band, and within a year, she was making her own recordings.  Over the course of her career she charted with such songs as “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes),” (with Brook Benton), “Unforgettable,” and “What a Difference a Day Makes,” which won her a Grammy in 1959.  Dinah Washington reportedly struggled with weight issues and was taking taking diet pills when, on December 14, 1963,  she died of an accidental overdose when she mixed them with alcohol.  She was just 39 when she died.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (October 7, 2009) Shelby Singleton / Record Producer; Owned Sun Records

Posted by on October 7, 2009

Shelby Singleton
December 16, 1931 – October 7, 2009

shelbyShelby Singleton’s music career began during the ’50s working at Mercury Records as a producer.  While moving up in the ranks, he became instrumental in numerous hits and was eventually rewarded with his own imprint, Smash Records where he signed Jerry Lee Lewis, Roger Miller and Faron Young among others.   During the early part of his career, he produced such hits as Brook Benton’s “The Boll Weevil Song,” Ray Stevens‘ “Ahab The Arab,” and Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By.”   But his biggest hit came in 1968 with Jeannie C. Riley’s recording of Tom T. Hall’s “Harper Valley P.T.A.”  A shrewd businessman as well, Singleton went on to purchase Sam Phillips’ Sun Records including it’s stellar catalog of recordings.  Shelby Singleton died of cancer on October 1, 2009.  He was 77.

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