WCSU

Artist Profiles - Guitarist George Benson

George Benson is a Grammy Award winning musician, whose recording career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist. He is also known as a pop, scat and R & B singer.

Benson was born on March, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Benson got his first experience playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz in a several-year stint with organist Jack McDuff. At the age of 21, he recorded his first album as leader, The New Boss Guitar, featuring McDuff. Miles Davis employed Benson in the mid 1960s, featuring his guitar on "Paraphernalia" on his 1967 Columbia release, Miles in the Sky. Benson went to Verve Records afterwards. Then, Creed Taylor signed him up for his CTI label.

By the mid to late 1970s, as he recorded for Warner Bros. Records, a whole new audience began to discover Benson for the first time. With the 1976 release Breezin', Benson began to put his vocal on tracks such as "This Masquerade". "This Masquerade" won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the live take of "On Broadway", recorded two years later from the 1978 release "Weekend in L.A.", also won a Grammy. He also recorded the original version of "The Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-pic, The Greatest, which was later covered by Whitney Houston as "Greatest Love of All."

In 1992, Benson appeared on Jack McDuff's Colour Me Blue album, his first appearance on a Concord album. Benson signed with Concord Records in 2005 and toured with Al Jarreau in America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to promote their 2006 multiple Grammy-winning album Givin' It Up.

In June, 2013, Benson released his fourth album for Concord Records, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole.