On Broadway chords by George Benson

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On Broadway | Chords + Lyrics


||: Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 :|| x4

Verse 1

| 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.
| Db7 B | Db7 B7 | Db7 B | Db7 D7 Eb7 |
But when you’re walking down that street, and you ain’t had enough to eat.
| Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 | Ab7 Gb | Ab7 Gb7 |
The glitter rubs right off and you’re nowhere.

Instrumental 1 (key change)

||: A G | G A :||

Verse 2

| A7 G | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |
They say the women treat you right on Broadway.
| A7 G | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |
But looking at them just gives me the blues.
| D7 C | D7 C7 | D7 C | D7 D#7 E7 |
‘Cause how you gonna make some time, when all you got is one thin dime.
| A7 G | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |
And one thin dime won’t even shine your shoes.

Instrumental 2 (key change)

||: Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 :|| x4

Verse 3

| Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 | Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 |
They say I won’t last too long on Broadway.
| Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 | Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 |
I’ll catch a Greyhound bus for home, they all say.
| Eb7 Db | Eb7 Db7 | Eb7 Db | Eb7 E7 F7 |
But they’re dead wrong, I know they are, ’cause I can play this guitar.
| Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 | Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 |
And I won’t quit til I’m a star on Broadway.


||: Bb7 Ab | Bb7 Ab7 :|| to end
I won’t quit til I’m a star on Broadway.
No, no, no, no.
I won’t quit til I’m a star on Broadway
Do do do do…

On Broadway Chords: Learn the progressions

On Broadway guitar lesson + TAB

George Benson‘s version of that old The Drifters tune, On Broadway, has terrified guitar players for years.

Using just a simple V – IV style chord progression, On Broadway’s chords work as a platform for George’s insane improvisations.

Before we get that far, we have gone through two key changes and had a unique take on the blues format where we over chords I and IV constantly move down a tone.

Here’s verse 2’s chord progression, we are in the key of A.

| A7 (I) G (bVIIx) | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |
| A7 G | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |
| D7 (IV) C (bIIIx) | D7 C7 | D7 C | D7 D#7 (#IV) E7 (V) |
| A7 G | A7 G7 | A7 G | A7 G7 |

Members get a full chord analysis, TAB for the bass line, and chords that support the vocal and solo without getting in the way.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson: On Broadway – Guitar Lesson with TAB.

Before George, it was Phil Spector who played guitar for On Broadway!

Husband and wife songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil originally wrote On Broadway for the Cookies, although the Crystals (their big hit was Da Do Ron Ron) released it first.

Barry and Cynthia were no one-hit wonders, they also penned classics such as Here You Come Again for Dolly Parton, Make Your Own Kind of Music for Mama Cass, and Walking In The Rain for The Ronettes.

But let’s try to stay on track, the first band to have a big hit with On Broadway was The Drifters (who also did Under The Boardwalk).

On The Drifters version, which was released in 1963, a young Phil Spector played the guitar solo.

George Benson must have heard this and thought – hold my beer! His 1978 live version from Weekend in L.A. and subsequent live performances have terrified guitar players ever since.

My favorite is an amateur recording which I’ve included in the playlist at the top of this page. It’s the look on the 2nd guitar player’s face that does it for me!

On Broadway Chords | Related Pages

Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play On Broadway's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

George Benson tunes

George Benson covered On Broadway

With a career like no other, George Benson spent 1954 to 1976 mainly playing Jazz guitar before he signed for Warner and started singing.

Hits include This Masquerade, Breezin’, In Your Eyes, Give Me The Night, On Broadway, and an enormous amount of jazz standards.

George Benson On the web

Listen to George Benson on Spotify.

The Drifters tunes

The Drifters recorded On Broadway.

With over 60 singers passing through the vocal group, they are amazingly still going, seven decades after the group was formed!

The Drifters‘ biggest tunes include Under The Boardwalk, Save The Last Dance For Me, Money Honey, Sweets For My Sweet, and On Broadway.

The Drifters on the web

Listen to The Drifters on Spotify.

Blues & Jazz

There are more Blues & Jazz tunes with chords like On Broadway.

The foundation upon which popular music stands, Blues & Jazz tunes must be explored in depth by the serious guitar player.

Learn from the best by studying the greatest tunes of the genres. Study the iconic licks and melodies to grasp the language of these most important styles.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about On Broadway's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about On Broadway chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

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


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