Friday, May 01, 2015

Ben E. King

Ben E. King doesn't always get mentioned with the great Soul voices of his era.  But another look is due. What I loved most about his voice was the pleading.   I was surprised to find out that he only recorded 11 songs as lead vocalist with the Drifters.  He only lasted their a year, but his batting average was pretty great:  "This Magic Moment" "Save The Last Dance For Me" "There Goes My Baby" "I Count The Tears". He only last 2 years with them before going solo.

And King's solo career was almost as grand as his short stint with the Drifters.  "Stand By Me" was immortal, but "Spanish Harlem" "Don't Play That Song"  "Supernatural Thing" and "I (Who Have Nothing)" are definitely worth your time.

Despite "Stand By Me" going Top 10 thanks to the movie of the same name in 1986, King never got the latter day recognition his long career deserved.  He was nominated 3 times for the Rock Hall as a solo artist (the last in 1988), but seemed to have slipped by the NomCom.

Rhino's 1998 Very Best of is your best bet.  Covering the best Drifters songs with his solo hits.
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