Sunday, May 06, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day
Artist:Ben E. King
Song:Stand By Me
Stand By Me has made Ben E. King one of the more durable R & B singers over the years but I'm sure most listeners don't know he wrote the song. He was born Benjamin Earl Nelson Sept. 23, 1938 in Henderson, NC and moved to Harlem at nine years old. He joined a doo wop group called The Five Crowns in 1958. Clyde McPhatter had left The Drifters and manager George Treadwell was dissatisfied with the group. He fired them and hired The Five Crowns and renamed them The Drifters. He sent them into the studio with producers Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller and they produced the Nelson written There Goes My Baby with Nelson singing lead. Nelson left The Drifters over money in 1960. Nelson changed his name to Ben E. King and went to work with Lieber/Stoller. The result was the 1961 top ten hit Spanish Harlem. The follow up Stand By Me was an even bigger hit. King wrote the song with Lieber/Stoller. King had several more hits but Stand By Me is his most enduring song. It also hit big in 1986 when Rob Reiner used it in his coming of age film Stand By Me. The following video was also produced. This 2CD comp from Rhino is perfect. Ben E. King still tours the oldies circuit and released the CD I've Been Around in 2006 on True Life Records. He has certainly had a long run and and is another great singer who benefitted from the expertise of Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller.