Guitar legend George Benson released his first album ‘The New Boss Guitar of George Benson’ in 1964. He had just turned 21 years old.
To put that into a timeline perspective, Benson’s first released came just weeks after the first album for The Rolling Stones, The Beatles had just released their second US release ‘Meet The Beatles’, Bob Dylan’s third album ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’ was just four months old, Sam Cooke was still alive and had just released what would be his final album ‘Ain’t That Good News’ just weeks earlier and at the same time George was in the studio making his debut record Elvis Presley released ‘Viva Las Vegas’
To find it that first Benson album on Spotify who have to look up George Benson & Jack McDuff where the current version is listed under the title ‘[2-fer].
For more than a decade after that first record, George was a successful jazz musician but relatively unknown worldwide until … ‘Breezin’ came along in 1976.
‘Breezin’ was not just a hit record, it was a massive hit record. Jazz records generally didn’t sell. ‘Breezin’ sold over three million. ‘Breezin’ also earned George Benson a chunk of Grammy Awards.
The album won the awards Best Pop Instrumental Performance for Benson and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Al Schmitt and was nominated as Album of the Year for Tommy LiPuma and Benson. “This Masquerade” received the award Record of the Year for LiPuma and Benson, while it was nominated as Song of the Year for Leon Russell and as Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for Benson.
56 years after that first album George Benson will return to Australia for Bluesfest and also perform shows in Sydney and Melbourne for Bluesfest touring.
Tickets are now on sale.