Saturday, March 1, 2008


Click on the blue/yellow button below that says "Dail-Up/Broadband" next to the image to seen George Whipple's piece on Ben E. King, playing through this weekend on NY1!

Whipple's World
R&B Singer Ben E. King Croons In Village Hotspot
February 29, 2008

After fifty years in the music business, rhythm and blues singer Ben E. King performs his greatest hits in Greenwich Village. NY1’s George Whipple filed the following report.

Ben E. King, noted singer of the rhythm and blues singing group The Drifters, became a household name with his 1961 number-one hit, “Stand By Me.” King’s fans stood by him, and made the song number-one again with its re-release in 1986.

Now, fans can stand by Ben E. King one more time, as he performs through Sunday at the The Blue Note club in Greenwich Village.

"This song has proved itself time and time again. I'm just stunned by it really," said King. "The reaction that I think I enjoy most about it is that the song now belongs to the people."

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28th, 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina, but moved to Harlem at the age of nine. He now celebrates 50 years in the music business.

"Music to me is something that I do for someone who’s coming out to enjoy themselves,” said King. “It's not for me to do to see that I have a great limo outside or I got a private plane and a yacht. I don't think it's for that.”

“You get to that world of how important am I and what I should have from music - you're losing music, to me," continued King.

Although he didn't write it, one of King's biggest hits is "Save The Last Dance For Me".

"It's a Doc Pomus/Mort Schuman song,” said King. “The story that goes with that song is that [blues songwriter] Doc Pomus, who was in a wheel chair, he wrote the song and was out with his wife. His wife was asking to dance with a friend of his. So he said, 'That's okay - so long as you save the last dance for me.' Love it!"

Ben E. King will be saving the last dance for you at The Blue Note now through Sunday.

- George Whipple

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