Music Box – Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Benjamin Earl King (1938 -2015) was an American soul and R&B singer and record producer.

King is best known as the singer and co-composer of “Stand by Me”—a U.S. Top 10 hit, both in 1961 and later in 1986 (when it was used as the theme to the film of the same name), a number one hit in the United Kingdom in 1987.

King was one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group The Drifters, notably singing the lead vocals of one of their biggest global hit singles (and only U.S. #1 hit) “Save the Last Dance for Me”.

In 1958, King joined a doo-wop group called the Five Crowns.Later that year, the Drifters’ manager George Treadwell fired the members of the original Drifters, and replaced them with the members of the Five Crowns.

King had a string of R&B hits with the group on Atlantic Records. He co-wrote and sang lead on the first Atlantic hit by the new version of the Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959).

He sang lead on a succession of hits by the team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, including “Save the Last Dance for Me”, “This Magic Moment”, and “I Count the Tears”.

King recorded only thirteen songs with the Drifters—two backing other lead singers and eleven lead vocal performances—including a non-single called “Temptation” (later redone by Drifters vocalist Johnny Moore).

The last of the King-led Drifters singles to be released was “Sometimes I Wonder”, which was recorded May 19, 1960, but not issued until June 1962.

“Stand by Me”, written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, ultimately would be voted as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Bio Reference Attribution

Photo Attribution © Steve Marcus/ Reuters, Benjamin Earl King, 2010

Source Attribution

Stand by Me

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah

Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin’, darlin’, stand by me-e, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Lyrics Source Attribution

Music Attribution © Ben E. King / Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber, Stand By Me

Video Attribution Soulful Sounds

Source Attribution

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27 thoughts on “Music Box – Stand By Me – Ben E. King

  1. Ahhhh…. Stand by Me… Ben E. King…. Years ago, when I worked at an adult homeless shelter, I started an art program called, The POssibibilities Project — it included music. One of the most amazing things we did was create a recording of Stand by Me — with musicans who were clients of the shelter as well as musicians from the community at large — and then, we held a concert and… Ben E King happened to be in town recording at a studio — he agreed to come and sing with those who were in the recording! It was amazing — Only myself and a couple of people knew he was coming – at the end of the evening, Ben E King walked onto the stage as the performers prepared to sing Stand by Me — it was a moment I shall never forget! Thank you for reminding me this morning of that project. I’ve included the link –

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    • Hi, Louise. What a wonderful message to receive. I trust you don’t mind but I have shared your message through a post on my blog as well as the Stand by Me” Calgary Drop In video. Look out for it. Best regards.

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      • Thank you so much Liz! One of the things we intentionally did was to not identify who was, or wasn’t, homeless. I often used this video when I visited schools from grades 1 – 12 to talk about ‘Homelessness’. At the end, I’d ask, “Could you tell who was homeless and who was housed?” No one could. And that was the point. Art, music, creativity has no boundaries — Inevitably, some students would try to guess and I would ask, “Does it matter?” And we would talk about it – the fact is — the label ‘homelessness’ or housed, is just a label. For everyone in that production, what matters was a group of people from many walks of life came together to share their talents and humanity and to create something beautiful. They cared and wanted to make a difference to help shift perceptions of others as to what it means to be human — no matter your state of housing.

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