Sun. Dec. 15, 2019

Little Anthony & George Benson – Electric Together

Single Of The Week: Little Anthony & George Benson – Electric Together (Radio City Mix) (DSG Music)

‘Electric Together’ is pretty much evokative of the obvious pleasure Little Anthony and George Benson had to be jammin’ together. A cut that initially saw the light back in November 2015 with production work by the likes of Preston Glass. An uptempo R&B driven joint, which British producer/remixer Nigel Lowis has beautifully enhanced, makin’ the proof once again of his undeniable musicianship.
“Electric Together, we’re burning hot…” says it all as to what one might expect regarding this uplifting song. Hard to not think of classics such as ‘On Broadway’, with a bit of MFSB / Salsoul feel.
Another illustration as to how time doesn’t have downside when speaking of true talents.

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Overview
– From Brooklyn, NY, Anthony Gourdine started singing lead in his early years with The Duponts. He then formed his own group – The Chesters – back in 1957. Consisting of Gourdine, Ernest Wright, Nat Rogers, Clarence Collins and Tracy Lord, the group became The Imperials the year after. They’re most likely remembered for ‘Tears On My Pillow’ which preceeded the break of the original line-up in 1960.
Gourdine reformed the group 4 years later with Collins and Sammy Strain. Together they scored a string of US hits, from ‘Going Out Of My Head’ to ‘Hurt So Bad’ among others. He left the group by the end of the sixties. He co-wrote ‘It’s Alright’ along with Sam Cooke which The Trammps released back in 1975 on Atlantic. And he also sang backgrounds on Nancy Wilson‘s ‘A Lady With A Song’ in 1989.

– Much of a prodigy, Pittsburgh, PA-born George Benson started playing ukulele in a corner drug store where he got paid a few Bucks at the early age of 7. A year later, he would play guitar in an unlicensed nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights before it got closed down by the police. Two years after, he released his first single record – ‘She Makes Me Mad’ – on RCA-Victor as Little Georgie

He got to prominence in the 60’s playing Soul/Jazz with organist Jack McDuff, before launching his own career, evolving from Jazz to R&B. He defined what would become a unique signature style along the years. A style which one can summarize as singing and scatting in collusion with his unique kind of play inspired by Gypsy Jazz. As if his voice and guitar (an Ibañez) were coming together as one…

The mid-70’s happened to be a turning point for him. Beginning with his arrival on Warner. His partnership with producer Tommy LiPuma, and the release of ‘Breezin’, his debut-LP for the label. An album which marked the beginning of his most successful period commercially speaking. It eventually got him to win a Grammy Award for “Record Of The Year” in 1977. Meanwhile it was also nominated for “Song Of The Year” and for “Best Pop Vocal Performance (Male)”, spawning 2 hit singles: its title song and ‘This Masquerade’.

From then, Benson would embark on an continuous series of successes. Delivering classics such as ‘Nature Boy’, ‘The World Is A Ghetto’ and ‘Give Me The Night’. But also ‘Love Ballad’ or ‘Love X Love’ among others. And eventually working with Masters At Work in the mid-90’s on cuts such as ‘You Can Do It’, ‘Song For My Brother’ and ‘El Barrio’.

The man eventually resurfaced by the end of 2015 with Little Anthony on ‘Electric Together’. With the latter soon after receiving remixing work courtesy of Nigel Lowis.

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