Copyright, March 8, 2008--
George Benson was born with a pure soul voice and an un-nerving passion for the
blues. He won his
first singing contest at four-years-old.
Even then he played to the crowd.
The musical prodigy grew up in Pittsburgh
and hit the jazz scene at age eight playing ukulele and later guitar in corner
pubs around town.
Like a bright star in the dreary
sky above the steel city, there was no stopping the boy or his music.
Today Benson reigns as a jazz giant, one of the greatest rhythm guitar legends in
history. Best of all, he can play just
about any style.
"I was an entertainer first," he said. "I've had the pleasure of playing with
the baddest jazz cats on the planet. But
that doesn't change my desire to entertain folks. That's really who I am."
Benson’s early musical heroes included guitarists Charlie
Christian, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Hank Garland and Grant Green. But he developed
a style all his own.
“I've always liked the hot guitar guys, he said."
One of Benson’s prize possessions was a Gibson L-5 guitar that
belonged to jazz great Wes Montgomery.
It was the guitar Wes recorded many of his hits on like “Goin Out of My
Head” and “Windy.”
The guitar was pictured on the album cover of “Movin
Wes.” It was also the same one Benson
used for a tribute concert for Wes at the Hollywood Bowl.
On Oct 14, Skinner Auctioneers, Boston,
Mass., featured the guitar for sale in its
Fine Musical Instruments auction which included the collection of George
Benson. The guitar sold for $41,125.
Read the entire article at http://www.LiveAuctionTalk.com