Monday, May 04, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Brook Benton

Artist:Brook Benton
Song:It's Just A Matter Of Time
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Brook Benton

Brook Benton was not only a tremendous singer but he wrote and produced most of his own songs usually with long time partner Clyde Otis. It's Just A Matter Of Time was Benton's breakthrough hit and it turned out to be his biggest chart hit. He was born Benjamin Franklin Peay Sept. 19, 1931 in Lugoff, SC. His father was a local choir director and Benton grew up singing in church. He moved to New York City in 1948 and appeared in several gospel groups. Then he joined the R & B group The Sandmen. They recorded for Columbia's race label Okeh. Columbia executives decided to push Peay as a solo artist and they gave him the name Brook Benton. It was around this time that Benton met Clyde Otis and they started writing songs together. One of Benton's biggest hits as a songwriter was the Clyde McPhatter hit A Lover's Question. Benton was struggling at Okeh. So when Otis was hired as Mercury Records' A & R Director in 1958, he brought Benton with him. Benton, Otis and Belford Hendricks intended It's Just A Matter Of Time for Nat King Cole. But Otis changed his mind and decided to have Benton record it. Hendricks wrote the arrangement obviously influenced by Cole. The record reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. It was Benton's first big hit and his highest chart placing for his career. It's Just A Matter Of Time was a very durable song as it was a country hit for Sonny James in 1970, Glen Campbell in 1985 and Randy Travis in 1989. Benton, Otis and Hendricks also produced hits like So Many Ways, Baby (You've Got What It Takes) and Kiddio. Otis and Hendricks left Mercury for Columbia in 1961 and they produced Aretha Franklin's Columbia recordings. Hendricks also arranged the 1963 Nat King Cole hit Ramblin' Rose. Benton left Mercury in 1962 and had minimal success in the 60s recording for Reprise and RCA. He returned to the charts when Rainy Night In Georgia was a smash hit in 1970. That was on Atlantic's Cotillion label. This budget comp is a good intro to Benton's music. Beware of off label CDs that have alternate takes of Benton's hits. Brook Benton continued to record until he retired in the late 70s. He died on Apr. 9, 1988 at age 56. Here's Brook Benton performing It's Just A Matter Of Time on The Ed Sullivan Show 1959.

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