George Benson performing at Place des Art as part of the 40th Edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.
I was just making records [in the early ’70s]. Even a hit jazz album sold small numbers. The records kept me working, but I never had a big hit. And then Peter Frampton changed everything. I saw his picture on magazine. I said, ‘Who in the world is Peter Frampton?’ So, I picked up the magazine and, lo and behold, my name is in the article. Peter Frampton says, ‘I listen to George Benson records all the time.’ I said, ‘You mean to tell me, this guy, who had the biggest record in history, who sold eight million double albums, is interested in my music? Why is he a superstar and I’m just barely hanging in there?’
So, I checked his record out and saw what he was doing. I said, ‘Wow, he’s keeping it simple. He’s got a wah-wah pedal and percussion.’ So, I put a wah-wah pedal on my guitar. That’s what made Warner Bros. Records interested in me. I give Peter Frampton a lot of credit for inspiring me and pointing me in the right direction.George Benson – Off Beat Magazine
George Benson LIVE!
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George Benson: It’s been about six years since I saw this 10-time Grammy winning vocalist/guitarist perform at the jazz festival; and judging by the solid show he delivered at this year’s festival, Benson shows no signs of slowing down during his 40+ years in the music business. The packed house at Place des Arts just ate up Benson’s nearly two hour set, which was a mix of his greatest hits (i.e., “Give Me the Night” and “On Broadway”) and tracks from a new album that is filled with cover versions of Fats Domino’s and Chuck Berry’s greatest tunes. George Benson certainly knows how to play this here guitar; and he doesn’t have to quit, because he is a starmtlTimes.ca