In the time period after WWII, there were several musicians and singers who helped facilitate the transition from the big band sound to rock and roll. These artists had qualities of both eras, fused and blended together so very well. I remember my parents listening to some of them when I was but a young boy.
One such singer had one of the smoothest voices I have ever heard, outside of Sinatra and Nat King Cole. He had a lengthy string of hits from the late 50s through the early 70s. Mustang remembers him well and will likely approve of this week's music. Today we honor the man who was born as Benjamin Franklin Peay and we now know as, Brook Benton.
First up is one that will give you a real appreciation of the depth of his vocal range. Whether you like this style or not, you must be prepared to admit the man can sing, especially after hearing this one:
In 1960, Benton teamed up with another extremely talented, transitional artist of this period, for a project that produced one of the better known songs of the era. Here, he sings a duet with the great Dinah Washington. Those of you who are old enough to remember this one will appreciate the chemistry these two had, singing together:
He followed up the next year with an outstanding ballad that told us the story of a pest, who was both feared and sorely misunderstood in his day. From a live TV performance in 1982, he sings that song with the same smoothness as when he first recorded it:
His last mega hit was probably one of the greatest songs I have ever heard. It was released in 1970 and for me, it defined an era and never fails to take me back to a part of my life that I still remember well and long for.
When this one was hot, I lived in a town called Macon. Located right in the heart of Georgia, it gave me first-hand knowledge of the theme of this tune. Anyone who has ever lived there knows well that he hard pounding summer rains are relentless. And while they are falling, it really does seem like they will last forever.
The line, "sometimes I feel like it's raining all over the world" still strikes deep in my sentiments and reminds me of a day when I really had no cares in the world, except which radio station I should be listening to on a rainy Saturday night: