Ben E. King & Freda Payne
BEN E. KING
It’s really very simple. Ben E. King is one of the great singers from the world of Rock n’ Roll and American pop music in general. When I lived in New York, I arranged a bunch of records for him. I also played piano and percussion on many of his records as well. He has a great sound, and really gets into the meat of a lyric. I recently saw him perform live, and he is still great. I might add that the audience agreed with me. They loved him. When I hear him on the radio today, I just smile because I know he is the honest to goodness real deal.
I met Freda Payne in Atlantic City where she was performing. I was conducting for Neil Sedaka at the Sands Hotel. Her manager called me and invited me to see her perform. I knew she was a good singer, but I had never watched her live on stage.
Wow, was I knocked out. She was great. I heard her sing and I knew that I had to work with her. We became good friends instantly. She is a real nice person as well as a fine performer.