Ben E. King

DAVID NATHAN'S DIARY - November 16, 2021: ARETHA - A Closer Look (Pt 13) - Spanish Harlem-Alternate Mix

As one of Atlantic Records’ most prolific recording artists from 1967 to 1979, Aretha Franklin cut literally hundreds of tracks. Choosing selections for inclusion on the career-spanning 4CD box set ARETHA, released on Rhino in July 2021, was a daunting task: as co-producer of the project with Patrick Milligan, I opted for some alternate takes and mixes such as a version of Aretha’s 1971 hit, “Spanish Harlem” included on a tape box with the inscription, “Rough Mixes”…

BEN E. KING: Classic Soul 1976 Interview

2021 Introduction: One of the foundational artists at Atlantic Records in the ‘60s, Ben E. King provided a consistent run of hit records, many of which have become modern-day classics – think “Stand By Me,” “Don’t Play That Song” and “Spanish Harlem” for starters. In 1975, he experience a welcome return to the label and the charts as he shared with David Nathan in 1976…

Ben E. King's "Stand by Me": A Hit in Two Decades

Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" is inarguably the late singer's signature song - so beloved it climbed the charts in two different decades. But how did it come about?

As the legend goes, Ben E. King had finished recording "Spanish Harlem" and had some studio time to kill. Inspired by an early 20th century hymn he'd tried to record while a member of The Drifters, he approached songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with a part of a verse he'd worked on.

The rest, as they say, is history.