If you know who Ben E. King is, then you probably can't hear his name without getting his 1961 hit "Stand by Me" stuck in your head. But the soul singer and record producer - who was born 78 years ago this week - had a number of hits that you might not have heard. And we're talking solo hits, not his work as lead singer for The Drifters.
So to celebrate his birthday, we've put together a list of 5 Ben E. King hits that aren't "Stand by Me."
But before getting to those, let's start with a listen to his classic tune, just in case you recently arrived on earth and haven't discovered his music yet.
1. "Spanish Harlem" (1960)
Before "Stand by Me," King had an early hit in "Spanish Harlem," which was co-written by legendary (and controversial) music producer Phil Spector. The track has since been listed at #358 in Rolling Stones' 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
2. "Amor" (1961)
In the same year that King released his signature song, he also dropped the peppy love ditty 'Amor,' which became a top 10 hit on America's R&B charts that year. It doesn't hold up as well as "Stand by Me" though. Frankly, the tune sounds a bit...over-caffeinated. But the infectiously chipper beat will probably make you smile.
3. "Don't Play that Song" (1962)
King apparently fell out of "amor" the following year when he released "Don't Play that Song (You Lied)." The bitter break up tune reached #2 on the R&B charts that year. And it features King in a musical spat with his backup singers impersonating the woman who jilted the singer.
4. "Supernatural Thing Part I" (1975)
King's next hit wouldn't come for another 13 years. And his style changed quite a bit over that time. The funky "Supernatural Thing Part I" - which reached #1 on the R&B charts - doesn't sound a bit like his earlier hits. Incidentally, "Supernatural Thing Part II" was the single's b-side.
5. "Do It in the Name of Love" (1975)
In the same year that he released "Supernatural Thing," King put out the equally groovy "Do It in the Name of Love," which reached #4 on the R&B charts. But unlike its predecessor, "Do It" was far more dance-friendly. We dare you to put this on and resist the urge to boogie.
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