George Benson tunes

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George Benson started gigging when he was 8!

In my opinion, the greatest jazz guitarist that ever lived, George Benson, had one of the most immense careers in the business. For example, he started out playing gigs in an unlicensed nightclub, at the age of 8!

In 1954, George released his first single under the name Little Georgie. His first proper album, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson, came in 1964. This was a collaboration with his mentor Jack McDuff. No famous tunes were recorded here but this would soon change!

Before his big breakthrough in 1976, George released 13 albums, covering these classic tunes:

Up until this point, George is a jazz guitarist that covers classic tunes, releases a lot of albums, and does only a bit of singing here and there and when he does, it’s mainly scat singing.

In my opinion, his best album during these years doesn’t have any hit tunes at all, and is fully instrumental, do check out the incredible Body Talk (1973).

Record labels so far have been Prestige, Columbia, Verve, A&M, and CTI.

George Benson becomes world famous by singing

In 1976 he signs with Warner Bros. and records one of the most successful jazz albums of all time, Breezin’. As well as the title track, we also got This Masquerade on this album. This would be Benson’s first big hit. Both tunes were covers.

A third tune on Breezin’ is worth mentioning, Affirmation by Jose Feliciano which is another classic. As an album, Breezin’ sold 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.

On This Masquerade, Benson sang and even though it wasn’t the first time, ironically his previous label (CTI) had discouraged him to step up to the microphone unless it was to scat sing in sync with his amazing guitar improvisations. As insane as his guitar playing is, it was his singing that brought George to the masses.

His next release on Warner, In Flight (1977), did sell a million copies, and Benson sang but no proper big tunes appeared on this release.

The following year, he release Weekend In L.A., a live album with the old Drifters tune On Broadway on it. This would become his next big tune and a highlight in his live shows ever since.

On the same album, he also sang The Greatest Love Of All, a tune he had released as a soundtrack for The Greatest, a movie about Muhammad Ali. A few years later, Whitney Houston covered it, changed the title slightly (Greatest Love Of All), and had a huge hit.

In 1979, Benson release his next studio album, Livin’ Inside Your Love and the cover tunes are back in A Change Is Gonna Come and Unchained Melody.

As the 80s come around George has his next big hit with Give Me The Night, written by one of Michael Jackson’s writers, Rod Templeton (Thriller, Rock With You). Speaking of Michael, Give Me The Night was actually produced by Quincy Jones.

After another Greatest Hits album, Benson is back in 1982 with another smash hit, In Your Eyes. The album it came from also featured a duet with Chaka Khan.

By now, George Benson was getting more and more focused on singing and the production of his albums was a far cry from his jazz improv roots. As a consequence, his earlier fans started to turn against him and he did lose a bit of credibility in return for his fame as a singer.

Perhaps this is why he next releases Pacific Fire, digging back into the archives of his CTI years, he drops previously unreleased and less slick recordings with instrumental versions of, among others, Knock On Wood

His next album, I Got A Woman And Some Blues contain the partial title track, I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) as well as a bunch of unknown blues covers.

1985 and George is back to his more cheesy productions with 20/20. Here we get the original version of Nothings Gonna Change My Love For You, later covered by Hawaii teenage heartthrob Glenn Medeiros and now becoming a worldwide hit.

Following 20/20, Mr. Benson releases a few albums without any big tunes. It would take until 1989 and Tenderly before we hear big tunes again in The Beatles Here There And Everywhere, as well as the old jazz standard Stella By Starlight.

After spending the 90s releasing more studio albums without any big tunes, George covers Summer Breeze in 2006, and in 2013 he drops an entire album of Nat King Cole tunes, which is ironic as Nat mainly did covers. Anyway, here we find Smile, Route 66, Unforgettable, and Mona Lisa.

George Benson’s latest release came in 2016, entitled Walking To New Orleans, he presents us with classics such as Nadine and You Can’t Catch Me (Chuck Berry), as well as Fats Domino’s Ain’t That A Shame.

This final record does sound absolutely incredible. I guess he picked up a thing or two over the last 60 years as a recording artist!

George Benson | Related pages

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

A Natural Woman chords

C | G/B | Bb | F F C/E Dm |
Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired.
C | G/B | Bb | F F C/E Dm |
And when I knew I had to face another day. Lord, it made me feel so tired.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman chords.

A Change Is Gonna Come

A Change Is Gonna Come chords

G | G | Am | Em |
I was born by the river, in a little tent, oh and just like that river I’ve been running ever since.
G | Am C B7 | Em | G |
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

A Change Is Gonna Come chords.

All Of Me

All Of Me chords

Bbmaj7 | Bbmaj7 | D7 | D7 |
All of me, why not take all of me?
G7 | G7 | Cm | Cm |
Can’t you see, I’m no good without you.

All Of Me chords.

Come Together

Come Together chords

Dm | Dm |
Here come old flat top, he come grooving up slowly.
Dm | Dm |
He got joo joo eyeball, he one holy roller.

Come Together chords.

Hold On, I’m Comin’

Hold On I'm Coming chords

Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 |
Don’t you ever, be sad. Lean on me, when the times are bad.
Db9 | Db9 |
When the day comes and you are down, 

Hold On, I’m Comin’ chords.

Knock On Wood

Knock On Wood chords

A6 | A6 | A6 | A6 |
I don’t want to lose, this good thing, that I got.
E7 | E7 | E7 | E7 |
‘Cause if I do, I will surely, surely lose a lot.

Knock On Wood chords.

On Broadway

On Broadway chords

Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 | Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 |
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway.
Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 | Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 |
They say there’s always magic in the air.

On Broadway chords.


Summertime chords

Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C | Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C |
Summertime, and the living is easy.
Ebm7 Gb | Ebm7 Ebm7/Db | F7b9/C Gb7 | F7 |
Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high.

Summertime chords.

George Benson on the web

Listen to George Benson on Spotify.

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