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 who 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 signed with Warner Bros. and recorded 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 from stepping 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 released 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 released 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 came around George had 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, 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 contains 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 released 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 covered Summer Breeze in 2006, and in 2013 he dropped 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, named 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 Tunes | Related Pages


(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

A Natural Woman chords

Learn how to play (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin/Carol King using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recordings.

C | G/B | Bb | F F C/E Dm |
Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired…


A Change Is Gonna Come

A Change Is Gonna Come chords

You can learn how to play A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke using chords, lyrics, TAB, chord analysis, and Spytunes video guitar lessons.

G | G | Am | Em |
I was born by the river, in a little tent, oh and just like that river I’ve been…


All Of Me

All Of Me chords

You can learn how to play All Of Me by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Bbmaj7 | Bbmaj7 | D7 | D7 |
All of me, why not take all of me…



Come Together

Come Together chords

You can learn how to play Come Together by The Beatles using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Dm | Dm |
Here come old flat top, he come grooving up slowly…


Give Me The Night

Give Me The Night chords

You can learn how to play Give Me The Night by George Benson using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Fm7 Bbm7 | Cm7 Dbmaj7 |
Whenever dark has fallen…


Hold On, I’m Comin’

Hold On I'm Coming chords

You can learn how to play Hold On, I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 |
Don’t you ever, be sad. Lean on me, when the times are bad…



Knock On Wood

Knock On Wood chords

You can learn how to play Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, the original recording, and cover versions.

| A6 | A6 | A6 | A6 |
I don’t want to lose, this good thing, that I got…


On Broadway

On Broadway chords

You can learn how to play On Broadway by George Benson using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 | Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 |
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…


Summertime

Summertime chords

You can learn how to play Summertime by Billie Holiday using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C | Bbm7 F7b9/C | Db6 F7b9/C |
Summertime and the living is easy…



Sunny

Sunny chords

You can learn how to play Sunny by Bobby Hebb using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Em7 | G9 | Cmaj7 | F#m7b5 B7 |
Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain…


George Benson on the web

Listen to George Benson on Spotify.

Biographies

Artist and Band biographies

Behind every single tune you learn, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalogue of music, waiting to be discovered.

Find out more about these great women and men, and let their tunes guide you to success with these Artist & Band biographies.


About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article about George Benson tunes was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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