What memories of not only my youth but straight into adulthood as Ben E. King’s vocal talent and music will always stand the test of time.
For that’s how good the songs were all made coming from that golden era of our baby boomer age.
Benjamin Earl King left us yesterday at the age of 76 and although his stint with The Drifters was not that long, what an impact he made.
I guess some would say why not have his signature song playing “Stand By Me”, I’d reply because I had to take it back a little bit further of my first memories of hearing him. “I Count The Tears” just happened to be my very fav. from his time with The Drifters, although everything he sang with them and as a solo artist as far as I’m concerned are all gems.
Clyde McPhatter, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore before and after him also made the groups songs absolute classics. I have fav.’s from them as well.
But with the release of the movie of the same name in 1986 Stand By Me reignited and turned on another and will for future generations to come.
In 2015, King’s original version written by written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (inspired from Lord Stand by Me with Psalms 46:2–3) was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress and very well deserved. Why The Drifters didn’t want the song still mystifies me.
#1 when it was released as King’s solo in 61′, it managed to no surprise chart again in 86′ to #9. How’s that for longevity.
“Save The Last Dance” earned him a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
That is a statement in itself for the vocalization talent of Ben E. King and the song in whole. Yesterday we lost another legend of the top of the R&B and Pop class. He will be remembered always and bring us back to moments from the years of those songs.
One thing that can never ever die, Music.
The bodies of those that made it may leave but the Soul forever remains with us and God.
Thank You Ben.