Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Remembering Delaney Bramlett

Delaney Bramlett, the singer and songwriter best remembered for his work with former wife Bonnie and with Eric Clapton, died Saturday in a Los Angeles hospital from complications from gall bladder surgery. He was 69. Born in 1939 in rural Mississippi, he served in the Navy and paid his dues upon his return in Los Angeles clubs -- even recording demos ofpotential Elvis Presley songs for songwriter Ben Weisman. His contacts paid off as he joined several other musicians as the Shindogs on the ABC-TV show "Shindig", which is when he met firey Bonnie Lynn O'Farrell. The two soon married and began touring as Delaney and Bonnie. Eric Clapton was impressed enough to ask the couple to open for his group Blind Faith in 1969. When Eric's group disbanded he actually joined Delaney and Bonnie "and Friends" in the studio and on tour (as well as recording Delaney's composition, "Let It Rain"). Other "friends"included Dave Mason, Duane Allman, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge and several members of Eric's Derek & the Dominos. Early songs like "Comin' Home" (#84-1970), "Soul Shake" (#43-1970) and "Free The People" (#75-1970) showed more promise on FM radio, but "Never Ending Song Of Love" (#13) and "Only You Know And I Know" (#20) in 1971 established the duo as major stars. Unfortunately, their relationship was stormy, at best, and ended when Bonnie walked out and Delaney gave up touring to raise their two children. Two more songs by them charted -- "Move 'Em Out" (#59-1972) and "Where There's A Will There's A Way" (#99-1972) beforeDelaney and Bonnie became just a memory. Delaney concentrated on songwriting early on, but eventually returned to recording, however without the success he had known earlier. Ironically, his most-successful composition was a song he wrote with Leon Rusell about Bonnie -- "Superstar (a #2 hit for the Carpenters). Their daughter Bekka followed in his footsteps, singing at one time with Fleetwood Mac.
-- Ron Smith

Never Ending Song Of Love was a #1 Smash here in Chicago ... yet today it's another Forgotten Hit that virtually never gets played on the radio. (Their Top 20 version of Dave Mason's Only You Know And I Know, which hit #6 here in Chi-Town, is another one you never hear!) Tagging along with his buddy, Eric Clapton, George Harrison performed with the band for a short while, too, after The Beatles split up. We've got both of Delaney and Bonnie's biggest hits here for you here today!

Kent Kotal

Musician, Songwriter. A rhythm guitarist and vocalist, he was half of the husband and wife music duo Delaney and Bonnie. They are best known for the hits "Never Ending Song of Love" (1971) and "Only You Know And I Know" (1971). In addition, they are remembered for the many artists with whom they performed and recorded with such as Eric Clapton, Rita Coolidge, Duane Allman, Dave Mason and George Harrison. One of the results from their association with such artists was the noteworthy album "Delaney and Bonnie and Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton" (1970). Born in Mississippi, Bramlett established himself as a topnotch songwriter during the 1960s. Among the hits he co-wrote are Eric Clapton's "Let It Rain" (1970) and The Carpenters' "Superstar" (1971), which has since been covered by many other artists. He died from complications after gallbladder surgery.

A songwriter, recording artist and producer, Delaney Bramlett influenced and made measurable contributions to the careers of many notable recording stars, including Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Billy Preston, John Lennon, Elvin Bishop and Duane Allman. With wife Bonnie, their biggest hit, “Never Ending Song of Love” was one of most popular songs of the early 70’s and was recorded by more than 100 artists. At 69 years of age, Delaney Bramlett died Saturday, December 27th in Los Angeles as a result of complications from gallbladder surgery.
-- John Rook

Regarding Delaney Bramlett's passing, i was deeply saddened to learn of his death, as i had recently discovered some of his early solo records for GNP-Crescendo (i will admit that i never cared for any of the Delaney and Bonnie records, but i do own one because it was given to me as a gift from a friend, and i never get rid of gifts). I'm attaching one of the early records, Better Man Than Me, which could've been a hit record...it certainly sounds like one to me!
-- Tom Diehl

This is a picture appearing in Clapton's autobiography.
David Lewis