George Benson is the newest guest on the Rhino Podcast, discussing his incredible and lengthy career and his big jump from jazz guitar mastery to pop/soul perfection.
Benson was a preternatural guitar talent from the get-go: he cut his first single for RCA Victor when he was only 10 years old. By 21, he was coming into his own as a sideman in the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet, while recording his own albums as bandleader for the Verve, A&M and CTI labels.
Things really heated up with the release of his first LP for Warner Bros. Records. Breezin', newly reissued on vinyl for Black History Month, was a rare success in the jazz field, topping the Billboard charts, selling more than three million copies and spinning off a Top 10 hit in "This Masquerade." From this point forward, he eked out an incredible career as a guitarist and pop singer, collaborating with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Quincy Jones while putting several more hits in the Top 10, like "On Broadway," "Give Me the Night" and "Turn Your Love Around."
At 77, Benson is still going strong, returning to his jazz roots in the mid-'90s and earning his ninth and tenth career Grammy Awards in 2007. Hear his stories in his words right here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.