Music Mentor Books


[Brook Benton]





Herwig Gradischnig & Hans Maitner


ISBN-13: 978-0-9562679-8-6

Paperback, 434 pages, 240 illustrations, 2015

Availability:  In print / In stock



Brook Benton was a magnificent singer who could handle handle anything from blues, jazz and soul to country, pop and standards.  His version of Tony Joe White’s ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’ - an international smash in 1970 - remains a timeless classic.

The biographical part of the book by Herwig Gradischnig is based on an album of newspaper cuttings personally compiled by Brook. These contain the singer’s views on a wide variety of topics, as well as reviews of his work.  Personal interviews conducted in the USA with members of Brook’s family have also been included.  A significant portion of the text is dedicated to detailed discussion of Brook Benton’s recordings and analysis of his distinctive vocal style.

The exhaustive discography compiled by Hans Maitner identifies over 660 known recordings by Benton.  In this, it far surpasses all others published to date, which generally account for only around 300.

The book also contains many rare photographs made available to the authors by the late singer’s family.  The entire work was authorised by Brook’s widow, Mary, and daughter Vanessa, both of whom were keen to see it published.


PART I - ATTEMPT AT A PORTRAIT (Herwig Gradischnig)


        1    Childhood and Move to New York

        2    Clyde Otis, Dave Dreyer and Mercury Records

        3    Brook Benton the Recording Artist

        4    The Voice

        5    Brook Benton on Stage

        6    Style and Stagecraft of Brook Benton the Entertainer

        7    TV Shows and Film Projects

        8    Brook Benton’s Personality

        9    Brook Benton the Family Man

      10    Brook Benton’s Social Commitment

      11    Brook Benton and Civil Rights

      12    Brook Benton’s Character, Likes and Interests

      13    Brook Benton’s Legacy



               Recording Sessions 1949-88

               US, UK and International Releases



        I      Unissued and Rejected Titles

       II      US Picture Sleeve Singles

      III      Brook Benton’s Hits

     IV      Brook Benton the Composer

      V      Sheet Music

     VI      Brook Benton Songs recorded by Other Artists

    VII      Films, Videos and TV Shows

   VIII      Notable Early Live Appearances



"Admirably detailed and researched"  The Soul Basement (June 2015)


"This is an impressively researched and constructed book which will afford endless pleasure to those who admire this artist.  It will almost certainly send you, as it did me, to examine your collection of Benton's records, to play some Brook Benton music not heard for a long time and to check what you have not got from his discography... It would be nice to think that this book will lead to an upsurge of interest in a singer who now seems sadly neglected.  Whether or not it does, his fans will no doubt be delighted with photos, memorabilia and easy-to-follow information.  Well recommended."  In Tune International (July 2015)


"The music shelves in bookshops have been groaning under the weight of pulp that extols the virtues of the latest pop sensations for far too long. As a result, the balance of talent to the written word can be so disproportionate, true trailblazers of the industry like Brook Benton rarely get a look in...  The two Austrian-born authors are devotees of long-standing and together they've come up with a businesslike biography/ discography that does right by the former Benjamin Franklin Peay... The engaging content brings about a rare insight into Brook's beliefs and opinions on a wide range of issues, along with many reviews of his recordings and live appearances... The detail that unfolds remains fascinating and enlightening throughout... Highly recommended."  Now Dig This (August 2015)


"Not quite soul nor rhythm 'n' blues – South Carolina's Brook Benton was often viewed as easy listening by his record companies, and I suppose by his public – but this serious work of affection goes a long way to arguing that his vocal prowess and way with a tune means he should now be seen on the same par as the greats – like say Sam Cooke. Yet, like Jackie Wilson and Bobby Womack, Benton is a black American soul singer and first-class entertainer who's in danger of being a chart/hitmaking footnote instead of being revered – a talent that time has forgotten – and criminally so....

       Originally published in Germany in 2010 as the last word on Brook Benton’s remarkable recording career and equally colourful private life, There Goes That Song Again is... a magnificent tome...  The text is peppered with great black and white period photos – on stage with Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington – his 1959 tour bus – with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin of the Rat Pack - in the studio with Margie Singleton and Damita Jo – posters for concerts with Mary Wells and the Penguins – mobbed by audiences in South Africa’s Johannesburg in 1971, and so on... The last few pages even reproduce the American funeral service of 1988, obits and a final shot of his headstone...
       American columnist Dick Kleiner said of Brook Benton's deep, affecting tone, 'He has a rich, soft voice and a way of using it that makes a sound like a breeze though a field of cello strings.' After reading this wonderful book, I'm inclined to think he was so much more. An absolute must-own for fans and a great read for the curious.  Well done to all involved."  Mark Barry's Books on Music / Sounds Good, Looks Good (August 2015)


"Considering Brook Benton's immense popularity in his native USA during his heyday, it is sad that the task of writing a book about him has been left to two Austrians. But academic Gradischnig and former DJ and record producer Maitner have risen to the task well in this extremely thorough book...

         Handsomely produced and fully illustrated, this scholarly book tells you just about everything you wanted to know about Brook Benton, and more."  Blues & Rhythm (October 2015)



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