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9/10/07

George Benson


George Benson ( March 22, 1943, Pittsburgh) is an American musician, whose recording career began at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. He is however, better known to the public at large as a Pop/R&B singer, famous for such hits as "Give Me The Night", "Lady Love Me (One More Time)", "Turn Your Love Around", "In Your Eyes" and "This Masquerade", among others.

Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Schenley High School. He now lives in Englewood, New Jersey's Bergen County. Benson started out playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz with organist Jack McDuff. Benson got his first experience playing with his several-year stint with McDuff's group. At the age of 21, Benson recorded his first album as leader, The New Boss Guitar, with Brother Jack McDuff on organ.

Benson's next recording was It's Uptown with the George Benson Quartet with Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax. This album showcases Benson's talent in constructing swinging bebop lines at blistering tempos. Benson followed it up with The George Benson Cookbook, also with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber.

Miles Davis employed Benson's talents in the mid 1960s; Benson played guitar on Paraphenalia, which appeared on the trumpeter's 1967 Columbia release, Miles in the Sky. He went to Verve Records for a spell afterwards. Then, Creed Taylor signed him up for his CTI label, where he recorded numerous albums with jazz heavyweights guesting to limited financial success. Benson also did his versions of The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road which he entitled, The Other Side Of Abbey Road (also released in 1969) and "White Rabbit", (the best known version of which was recorded by Jefferson Airplane), around this time.

Photo from http://www.celebrityrockstarguitars.com/rock/benson.htm

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George Benson website

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