Ben E. King

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.