Brook Benton Born as Benjamin Franklin Peay in Camden, South Carolina on September 19, 1931, Brook Benton as a teenager was writing songs and singing gospel music.
With a voice described as “the velvet touch, early in his career Brook Benton made a living as a “demo” singer, recording songs that would be passed on to such stars as Roy Hamilton, Nat “King” Cole and Clyde McPhatter.
Signed by Vik Records as a solo artist, Brook Benton would have his own chart hit in early 1958 with “A Million Miles from Nowhere”, but it was a year later as a Mercury recording artist a song written by him “It’s Just a Matter of Time” would really start his career, peaking at #3 nationally in January, 1959.
In 1959 he would have five songs on the Hit Parade:
- “Endlessly” (April)
- “Thank You Pretty Baby” (July)
- “So Many Ways” (October)
- “This Time of the Year” (In time for Christmas)
Teaming up with label mate Dinah Washington in 1960 with “A Rockin’ Good Way”, Brook continued with another top ten hit, “Kiddio” and “Fools Rush In” that same year.
With more than 50 chart appearances for singles and albums in his career, Brook had other famous hits as well:
- “Think Twice” (1961)
- “The Boll Weevil Song” (1961 - peaked at #2)
- “Frankie And Johnny” (1961)
- “Hotel Happiness” (1962 - peaked at #3)
- “Rainy Night in Georgia” (1970 - peaked in the top 5)
Equally as popular in England as he was in the United States, Brook Benton was a very talented song writer for other artists too. Among them:
- “The Stroll” for the Diamonds
- “A Lover’s Question” for Clyde McPhatter
- “Looking Back” for Nat “King” Cole