Ben E King was as popular on the live UK soul venue scene as Edwin Starr. He was never disappointing, a master soul purveyor. He had a distinguished singing career, starting in the 1950’s as the lead vocalist with the Drifters. He then set out on a solo career, starting with A ROSE IN SPANISH HARLEM, STAND BY ME and followed by a string of soul ballads in the early 1960s, often copied by others with greater commercial success – e.g. I who Have Nothing (covered by Shirley Bassey, it became her signature tune).
By the mid 1960s Ben was achieving the height of his soul rendering with numbers such as TEARS TEARS TEARS, and WHAT IS SOUL, CRY NO MORE was a huge hit at the Twisted Wheel. And Spanish Harlem was constantly played at end sessions at The Blue Note.
Tears Tears Tears
What Is Soul
Stand By Me
A Rose In Spanish Harlem
Cry No More
I Who Have Nothing
Then in 1975 he made the superb SUPERNATURAL THING