George Benson

George Benson

Infobox musical artist
Name = George Benson

Img_capt = Onstage in 2004
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1943|3|22|mf=y
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died =
Instrument = Vocals, guitar
Genre = Jazz, Funk R&B
Occupation = Musician, songwriter
Years_active = 1964–present
Label =
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Notable_instruments = Ibanez GB10 Signature Model
Ibanez GB200 Signature Model

George Benson (b. March 22 1943, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) [ allmusic Biography] ] is an American musician, whose recording career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist. He is however, better known to the public at large as a Pop and R&B singer, famous for such hits as "Give Me the Night", "Lady Love Me (One More Time)", "Turn Your Love Around","Inside Love(So Personal)", "In Your Eyes", and "This Masquerade", among others.


Early career

Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended the defunct Connelly High School and dropped out. He now lives in Englewood, New Jersey's Bergen County. Benson started out playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz with organist Jack McDuff. Benson got his first experience playing with his several-year stint with McDuff's group. At the age of 21, Benson recorded his first album as leader, "The New Boss Guitar", with Brother Jack McDuff on organ.

Benson's next recording was "It's Uptown with the George Benson Quartet" with Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax. This album showcases Benson's talent in constructing swinging bebop lines at blistering tempos. Benson followed it up with "The George Benson Cookbook", also with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber.

Miles Davis employed Benson's talents in the mid 1960s; Benson played guitar on "Paraphernalia," which appeared on the trumpeter's 1967 Columbia release, "Miles in the Sky". He went to Verve Records for a spell afterwards. Then, Creed Taylor signed him up for his CTI label, where he recorded numerous albums with jazz heavyweights guesting to limited financial success. Benson also did his versions of The Beatles' 1969 album "Abbey Road" which he entitled, "The Other Side of Abbey Road" (also released in 1969) and "White Rabbit" (originally written and recorded by San Francisco rockgroup Jefferson Airplane) around this time.

1970s and 1980s

title=George Benson "Breezin'" (1976)
description=Title track sample from George Benson's "Breezin"' album
By the mid to late 1970s, as he recorded for Warner Bros. Records (he had recently signed with them), a whole new audience began to discover Benson for the first time. With the 1976 release "Breezin'" (also the name of a memorable instrumental on the album which became an AM Radio staple), Benson began to put his vocal on some tracks, such as "This Masquerade," which was the first song to make #1 on the "Billboard" pop, jazz and R&B charts (Benson had used his vocals on some songs earlier in his career, notably his rendition of "Here Comes the Sun" on the "Other Side of Abbey Road" record). He was part of psychedelic soul group Harlem Underground Band during the 1970s, whose much sampled song "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba" was featured in . [ "Breezin'" album information] ]

On the strength of "This Masquerade" (it won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year) and the electrifying live take of the classic "On Broadway" recorded two years later (from the 1978 release "Weekend in L.A.", which also won a Grammy), he was able to crack through via the Pop and R&B Top Ten and as the 1970s wound down, songs such as the aforementioned "Give Me the Night" (which was produced by Quincy Jones), which was his biggest U.S. pop hit, peaking at #4 in 1980, "Turn Your Love Around" and others became big hits for Benson as well. On Warner Bros., Benson accumulated three other platinum LPs and two gold albums. [ [ VH1 - Artists bio] ]

He also recorded the original version of "Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-pic, "The Greatest"; the song was later recorded successfully as a cover by Whitney Houston. [ [ VH1 - Artists bio] ]

During this time Benson recorded extensively with Claus Ogerman, a German conductor. [ [ Ogerman website]

Later and current career

title=George Benson - "This Masquerade"
description=Sample track from George Benson's "Breezin"' album (1976)
By the mid 1980s, Benson cooled down a bit on the charts and spent the rest of the decade and the 1990s and up till today, continuing to tour and record music.

In 1985 Benson and guitarist Chet Atkins succeeded on the smooth jazz charts with their collaboration "Sunrise," one of two songs from the duo released on Atkins' disc "Stay Tuned".Fact|date=September 2007 Producer Mike Poston states Benson and Atkins recorded an entire album's worth of music, but due to disagreements between lawyers for their record companies, the rest of the material has never been released.Fact|date=September 2007

In 1992, Benson appeared on Jack McDuff's "Colour Me Blue" album.

George Benson toured with Al Jarreau in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to promote their 2006 album "Givin' It Up".

He played during the 2nd Monsoon Cup in Terengganu in 2006 and also Malaysia's 50th Merdeka celebration alongside Al Jarreau in 2007. One of his guitars was sold at a charity auction at the 3rd Monsoon Cup Charity dinner at RM150,000 to an anonymous bidder.

One of his songs, "Affirmation," was used in the anime television series, "Samurai Champloo", during the episode, "Gamblers and Gallantry." The track plays as one of the protagonists, named Jin, helps a woman escape from an Edo era Japanese brothel.

In May 2008, and for the first time, Benson took part in Mawazine Festival in Morocco alongside other stars including singer Whitney Houston.

Apart from a few low-profile performances, Benson lives a private life in Southern Florida, where he is an active member as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.



*1964: "George Benson/Jack McDuff" (Prestige)
*1964: "The New Boss Guitar" (Prestige)
*1965: "Benson Burner" (Columbia)
*1965: "It's Uptown" (Columbia)
*1966: "The George Benson Cookbook" (Columbia)
*1966: "Willow Weep for Me" (CBS)
*1967: "Blue Benson" (Verve) - Jazz #23
*1968: "Giblet Gravy" (Verve)
*1968: "Goodies" (Verve)
*1969: "Shape of Things to Come" (A&M) - R&B #38, Jazz #11
*1969: "Tell It Like It Is" (A&M) - US #145, R&B #43, Jazz #16
*1969: "The Other Side of Abbey Road" (A&M) - US #125, R&B #18
*1970: "I Got a Woman & Some Blues" (A&M)
*1971: "Beyond the Blue Horizon" (CTI) - Jazz #15
*1972: "White Rabbit" (CTI) - Jazz #7
*1973: "Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon, Vol. 1" (Accord)
*1973: "Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon, Vol. 2" (Accord)
*1973: "Witchcraft" (Jazz Hour)
*1974: "Body Talk" (CTI) - Jazz #10
*1975: "Bad Benson" (CTI) - US #78, Jazz #1
*1976: "Good King Bad" (CTI) - US #51, R&B #18, Jazz #3
*1976: "Benson & Farrell" (CTI) - US #100, R&B #27, Jazz #3
*1976: "Breezin'" (Warner Bros.) - US #1, R&B #1, Jazz #1
*1977: "In Concert-Carnegie Hall" (CTI) - US #122, R&B #43, Jazz #6
*1977: "In Flight" (Warner Bros.) - US #9, R&B #2, Jazz #1
*1978: "Space Album" (CTI)
*1978: "Weekend in L. A." (Warner Bros.) - US #5, R&B #1, Jazz #1
*1979: "Livin' Inside Your Love" (Warner Bros.) - US #7, R&B #4, Jazz #1
*1979: "Take Five" (CTI)
*1980: "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" (CTI)
*1980: "Give Me the Night" (Warner Bros.) - US #3, R&B #1, Jazz #1
*1981: "GB" (CTI)
*1981: "The George Benson Collection" (Warner Bros.) - US #14, R&B #5, Jazz #1
*1983: "In Your Eyes" (Warner Bros.) - US #27, R&B #6, Jazz #1
*1983: "Pacific Fire" (CTI)
*1984: "20/20" (Warner Bros.) - US #45, R&B #20, Jazz #3
*1984: "Live in Concert" (Design)
*1985: "The Electrifying George Benson" (Affinity)
*1986: "While the City Sleeps..." (Warner Bros.) - US #124, R&B #21, Jazz #8
*1987: "Collaboration" (with Earl Klugh) (Warner Bros.) - US #59, R&B #28, Jazz #1
*1988: "Twice the Love" (Warner Bros.) - US #76, R&B #17, Jazz #10
*1989: "Tenderly" (Warner Bros.) - US #140, Jazz #1
*1990: "Big Boss Band" (Warner Bros.) - Jazz #3
*1991: "Midnight Moods" (Warner Bros.)
*1992: "The Essence of George Benson" (Columbia)
*1993: "Love Remembers" (Warner Bros.) - R&B #50, Jazz #1
*1994: "The Most Exciting New Guitarist on the Jazz Scene" (Sony)
*1995: "The Best of George Benson" (Warner Bros.) - Jazz #14
*1996: "California Dreamin"' (Sony)
*1996: "Lil Darlin"' (Thunderbolt)
*1996: "That's Right" (GRP) - US #150, R&B #33, Jazz #1
*1998: "Standing Together" (GRP) - R&B #47, Jazz #1
*1998: "Masquerade" (Thunderbolt)
*1999: "The Masquerade Is Over" (Jazz Hour)
*2000: "Live at Casa Caribe" (Columbia River)
*2000: "Absolute Benson" (GRP) - US #125, R&B #24, Jazz #1
*2001: "All Blues" (Bianco)
*2002: "Blue Bossa" (Prestige Elite)
*2002: "After Hours" (Universe)
*2003: "Irreplaceable" (GRP)
*2003: "The Greatest Hits of All" (Rhino) - US #138, R&B #74, Jazz #3
*2004: "Golden Legends Live" (St. Clair)
*2005: "Jazz After Hours with George Benson" (Performax)
*2005: "Best of George Benson Live" (GRP) - Jazz #4
*2006: "Givin' It Up" (with Al Jarreau) (Concord) - US #58, R&B #14, Jazz #1
*2007: "Live from Montreux" (Immortal)


*1975: "Supership" - UK #30
*1976: "This Masquerade" - US Pop #10, US R&B #3
*1976: "Breezin'" - US Pop #63, US R&B #55
*1977: "Everything Must Change" - US R&B #34
*1977: "Nature Boy" - UK #26
*1977: "Gonna Love You More" - US Pop #71, US R&B #41
*1977: "The Greatest Love of All" - US Pop #24, US R&B #2, UK #27
*1978: "On Broadway" - US Pop #7, US R&B #2
*1978: "Lady Blue" - US R&B #39
*1979: "Love Ballad" - US Pop #18, US R&B #3, UK #29
*1979: "Unchained Melody" - US R&B #55
*1980: "Give Me the Night" - US Pop #4, US R&B #1, UK #7
*1980: "Love X Love" - US Pop #61, US R&B #9, UK #10
*1981: "Love All the Hurt Away" ("with Aretha Franklin") - US #46, R&B #6
*1981: "Turn Out the Lamplight" - US R&B #33
*1981: "What's On Your Mind" - UK #45
*1981: "Turn Your Love Around" - US Pop #5, US R&B #1, UK #29
*1982: "Never Give Up on a Good Thing" - US Pop #52, US R&B #16, UK #14
*1983: "Inside Love (So Personal)" - US Pop #43, US R&B #3
*1983: "Lady Love Me (One More Time)" - US #30, R&B #21, UK #11
*1984: "20/20" - US #48, R&B #15
*1985: "I Just Wanna Hang Around You" - R&B #24
*1985: "New Day" - R&B #87
*1986: "Kisses in the Moonlight" - R&B #13
*1986: "Shiver" - R&B #16
*1988: "Twice the Love" - R&B #23
*1998: "Standing Together" - R&B #62
*2004: "Cell Phone"


External links

* [ Tour dates]
* [ George Benson]
* [ George Benson official homepage]
* [ George Benson's career on A&M Records with gallery, international discography]
* [ George Benson Guitar Tabs]
* [ George Benson 2006 Interview with Al Jarreau] on "Sidewalks Entertainment"
* [ Excellent Interview with George Benson Recorded by NPR's KJZZ]

NAME=Benson, George
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American singer-guitarist
DATE OF BIRTH=Birth date and age|1943|5|22|mf=y

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