George Benson on sudden pop success
Now, a Literary Moment...
MUSIC: "This Masquerade," CD: The Essential George Benson, Columbia/Legacy 69699 85215 2 (disc 2, cut 6)
In 1976, NEA Jazz Master George Benson surprised himself and everybody else when he suddenly jumped out of his jazz shoes into the pop world with "This Masquerade."
George Benson: I was now in my 30s, and I figured that I had done everything you could do. I had already been voted as the number one jazz guitar player in the world. Especially my singing career, I figured, was over, you know. So when this happened with "This Masquerade" everybody thought it was a fluke.
MUSIC: post on vocals
George Benson: And then Quincy Jones and I hooked up, and he gave me "Give Me The Night.", Columbia/Legacy 69699 85215 2 (disc 2, cut 8)
George Benson: And so all of a sudden I had all this string of pop hits, and I wanted to see how far-- I said, "This cannot be happening. This is impossible."
MUSIC: On Broadway, CD: The Essential George Benson, Columbia/Legacy 69699 85215 2 (disc 2, cut 7)
George Benson: I think to date we?ve sold somewhere between 60 and 70 million records. And what I thought was that it would give other people who were like me a chance to explore themselves to see how far they might want to go in their careers and not to be saddled down with a title that says ?you ain't gonna never be nothin else but this.?
MUSIC: up and fades
This Jazz Moment (of sorts!) with guitarist & singer George Benson was created by the National Endowment for the Arts. I?m Delfeayo Marsalis.