The singer and songwriter of the stirring and soulfully supersonic “Stand By Me” breathed his last at 76 years of age. Ben E. King will be remembered as the man that put the “so” in “soul”.
Ben E. King, with his famous deep and rich voice, sang many a soul-searching song in his time. Such #1 hits as “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” made Ben a household word in America not to mention the rest of the world.
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Ben’s heyday was in the 50s and 60s when he belted out tune after tune that shook listeners to the core of their being. He was especially known for his rendering of the funky and optimistic musical number titled “Stand By Me”. Today Ben is no more. He died recently at the ripe age of 76.
According to his attorney, the singer succumbed to an unspecified illness. Nothing more was relayed to the press. Ben, lived in New Jersey and he passed away at the premises of Hackensack University.
Ben E. King began his early days doing a job at his pop’s luncheonette. There a local talent scout hired him for The Five Crowns, a musical group. That was after he heard his baritone voice.
Things started looking up for Ben when his group caught the attention of George Treadwell. Treadwell needed someone competent to fill the slot left in his group The Drifters. He took on the services of Ben and three of his fellow musicians. The formula was an immediate success.
Soon The Drifters were the most talked about band in town. Ben’s passionate manner of singing straight from the heart was responsible for the overnight celebrity status heaped on him and his bandmates.
Ben’s methodology involved a complex mixture of Heart and Soul not to mention a bit of Gospel influence. He sang from the depths of his very being which made his style quite appealing to his fans which increased with each passing year. Songs such as “This Magic Moment” and “Lonely Winds” made the day of many a music listener who wanted a little bit of pleasure and something uplifting.
He left his bandmates in 1960 and started a one-man show. His “Stand By Me” was on the 500 greatest songs list compiled by Rolling Stones Magazine. Later on his career fell into a rut of sorts but he continued working on small projects till the end of his days on earth. He will be dearly missed by every music lover on the planet.
May his soul rest in peace…