Ben E King RIP


(Thanks to Lenny) I guess you will have heard – all kinds of terrific solo songs and from his time with the Drifters. Avoiding the most obvious choices, here’s a lovely Drifters record:



Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

14 thoughts on “Ben E King RIP

  1. Good things don’t last forever…..mores the pity…………….Another legend departs………..Lets be thankful for the legacy….
    I think he should be put to rest…”under the boardwalk ” , or of course “up on the roof”
    R.I P. Ben…

    • replying to your own comment seems a little odd . I’ve been waiting for someone out there to ‘ave a go about my suggestions for a couple of reasons , one of course being that Ben E King left The Drifters after recording only a dozen or so tunes in 1960…
      Boardwalk & Roof were Drifters toons ………that’s that then !!!!!

  2. I clearly remember the first time I ever heard ‘Stand By Me’. It was in spring or summer of 1961 ( I was 12 years old) and I used to listen religiously to Tony Hall’s America’s Top Ten on Radio Luxembourg every Friday at 9.15pm* ( I think*).
    It was like nothing I’d ever heard before and completely blew me away. The opening sparse rhythm of the bass and snare then that soulful voice followed by violins when you really didn’t expect them – totally original!
    Just as the violins were getting into their stride it all suddenly ended, the reason being that Radio Lux only ever played the first two minutes of a record in order to cram as many as possible into a show.
    Still great tho’ and I suspect this was the first time it was ever played on a radio station broadcast to the UK.
    Wonder if any one else remembers this show or hearing this classic for the first time.

  3. My memories of Radio Lux were non-musical I’m afraid but a particular name will always stick in my mind…..Horace Bachelor, he who promised we could win a million quid but I can’t remember how we were supposed to do it. It could have been predicting football results, perhaps just a quiz, does anybody remember ? All answers had to be sent to some address in Keynsham (he always spelt it out).
    Incidently Graham, did you hear Stand by Me on a radio (nee wireless) or cat’s whisker ?

  4. Standby folks for another ‘legend’ leaving soon…………..I hear that the other King is in a hospice…..’Lucille’ is probably by his side….
    The thrill will definitely be gone away !!!!!

  5. Hey Rod , That brought back some memories. Yup good old Horace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Batchelor Seemed to me that the sea of static never blocked the signal on the commercials only on the music. I seem to recall hearing some great music though in those years.

  6. Didn’t the Bonzos do a song or an album called Keynsham?

  7. Hi Rod
    We had a ‘modern’ sterogramme’ in the front room and an old fashioned radio in the dining room – neither were ‘the cat’s whiskers’ nor ‘the dog’s bollocks’.
    Horace Batchelor’s system for winning the footie pools was ‘his famous Infra-Draw Method’ – whatever that was. Great advertising ‘tho as we all seem to remember it.
    Getting back to ‘Stand By Me’ I don’t think it was a snare on the recording but was something like a guiro – a scraper thing from South America.

  8. From RIP Ben E King to this……Indeed The Bonzos album ‘Keynsham’ even mentions good old Horace on the Intro Outro


  9. Gutted to hear about Ben E King. I have listened to sang Stand by Me so many times and I can never get near the emotion he gives off in the original recording. The best record I’ve heard and a song I will never tire of singing!
    RIP The King Jamie Goddard The Zoots 1960s show

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