George Benson will play Sydney and Melbourne dates outside Bluesfest in 2020 marking a decade since he was last in Australia.
George will be 77-years old when these dates roll around. He released his first album ‘The New Boss Guitar of George Benson’ in 1964. 13 years later he took what was considered the niche genre of Jazz and turned it into Pop with a number one Billboard album with ‘Breezin’.
‘Breezin’ sold over three million copies in the USA. That is a remarkable feat for a Jazz record.
A lot of the attraction of the ‘Breezin’ album was George’s astonishing cover of Leon Russell’s ‘This Masquerade’.
Benson would cover Russell again with ‘Lady Blue’ on the live album ‘Weekend In L.A.’ but the showpiece of that album was his version of Linda Creed and Michael Masser’s ‘The Greatest Love Of All’, eight years before Whitney Houston’s version.
‘Weekend in L.A.’ included a cover of The Drifters ‘On Broadway’. In 1978, 14 years after his debut album, George Benson had his first Top 40 single.
Having a hit started a run on the Top 40 charts for George Benson, again a remarkable feat for a jazz guitarist. The hits included ‘Love Ballad’ (no 18, 1979), ‘Give Me The Night’ (no 4, 1980), ‘Turn Your Love Around’ (no 5, 1981) and ‘Lady Love Me; (no 30, 1983).
In 2005, George appeared alongside Rod Stewart on ‘Let’s Fall In Love’ from Rod’s ‘Thanks For The Memory: The Great American Songbook Volume IV’.
The most recent George Benson album is ‘Walking To New Orleans’ (released 26 April 2019).