Poparchiv: Atlantic Records

Ben E. King

"From the groundbreaking orchestrated productions of The Drifters to his own solo hits, Ben E. King was the definition of R&B elegance.”

Steve Huey, in allmusic.com


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Ben E. King war der Leadsänger der zweiten Besetzung der Vokalgruppe The Drifters („There goes my baby“), die aus den Five Crowns hervorging, bevor er nach nur einem Jahr die Band verließ und seine Solokarriere in Angriff nahm. Er blieb beim Label Atlantic Records und veröffentlichte in den nächsten Jahren Hits wie „Supernatural“ und „Stand by me“ und erreichte damit eine breite Hörerschaft.

“King's plaintive baritone had all the passion of gospel, but the settings in which it was displayed were tailored more for his honey smooth phrasing and crisp enunciation, proving for perhaps the first time that R&B could be sophisticated and accessible to straight pop audiences."
Steve Huey in: allmusic.com

Vokalgruppen des Rhythm&Blues und Doo Wop Musikstils waren sehr beliebt in den 50er und 60er Jahren. Letzterer zeichnet sich durch mehrstimmige Gesangsarrangements mit starker Abgrenzung des Bassgesangs aus und hat seine Wurzeln im Jazz, Gospel und Blues. Die ersten Bands formierten sich auf den Straßen (Street Corner Music), später wurden sie größtenteils von Labels zusammengestellt und im Laufe ihrer Karrieren, wie bei dem Beispiel der Crowns/ Drifters, als ganze Band oder durch einzelne Künstler ersetzt. In den Anfängen der 50er zunächst nur von dem afroamerikanischen Publikum geschätzt, schafften es einige Doo-Wop-Titel einige Jahre später durch die wachsende Anerkennung des weißen, jungen Publikums auch in die amerikanischen Popcharts („Earth Angel“ Penguins, „Still of the Night“ Five Satins,1954).

"Ultimately, participation, in vocal group culture, (...), served as a means of socialization for young black men which enabled them to identify and conform to the norms of urban adult male behaviour."
Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding (70)

Unter dem Namen „Drifters“ treten bis heute vier verschiedene Formationen der Band auf, die seit den 70er Jahren zeitgleich auf den Platten von Atlantic Records zu hören waren.


Vorlesung von Wolfgang Lorenz „Atlantic Records“ Sommersemester 2013, Leuphana Universität
Pruter, Robert: „Doowop- The Chicago Scene“, Illinois 1996
Gribin, Dr. Anthony J.; Schiff, Dr. Matthew M.: “Doo-Wop - The forgotten third of Rock´n´Roll”, 1992

Ben E. King Biography

Excerpted From The Official Ben E. King Website : http://www.beneking.info/

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28, 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina, and moved to Harlem, New York, at age 9. In 1958, King (still using his birth name) joined a doo wop group called The Five Crowns. Later in 1958, The Drifters' manager George Treadwell fired the members of the original Drifters, and replaced them with The Five Crowns. King had a string of R&B hits with the group on Atlantic Records. He co-wrote and sang lead on the first Atlantic hit by the new version of the Drifters, "There Goes My Baby" (1959). He also sang lead on a succession of hits by the team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, including "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment," and "I Count the Tears."

In May 1960, King left the Drifters assuming the more memorable stage name Ben E. King in preparation for a successful solo career. Remaining on Atlantic Records on its Atco imprint, King scored his first solo hit with the ballad "Spanish Harlem" (1961). His next single, "Stand by Me," written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, ultimately would be voted as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. "Stand by Me," "There Goes My Baby," and "Spanish Harlem" were named as three of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and were all given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

As a Drifter and as a solo artist, King had achieved five No. 1 hits: "There Goes My Baby," "Save The Last Dance For Me," "Stand By Me," "Supernatural Thing," and the 1986 re-issue of "Stand By Me." He also earned 12 Top 10 hits and 25 Top 40 hits from 1959 to 1986. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Drifter; he has also been nominated as a solo artist.

King performed "Stand by Me" on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2007. Ahmet Ertegun said, "King is one of the greatest singers in the history of rock and roll and rhythm and blues."

Currently, King is active in his charitable foundation, the Stand By Me Foundation and is also a founding Champion of the Global Village Champions Foundation along with Muhammad Ali, Gary US Bonds, and Yank Barry.[4] He has been a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey since the late 1960s.



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