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Music of a Lifetime #10 - Brook Benton - "Rainy Night in Georgia"

Brook Benton had one of the smoothest, soulful voices that I've ever heard. From his first hit, 1959's "It's Just a Matter of Time" to his duets with Dinah Washington to his comeback song "Rainy Night in Georgia", he infused his recordings with a deep baritone voice that could sooth your troubles away.

"Rainy Night in Georgia" was actually written by Tony Joe White of "Polk Salad Annie" fame. I interviewed the late singer in 2013 and he talked about hearing the Benton version of his song for the first time.

"I recorded in Memphis at a studio called Lyn Lou and a friend of mine from Muscle Shoals, Donnie Fritz, a songwriter, was there and he wanted to know if he could have a copy of Rainy Night. I said alright because, at that time, everybody passed tapes around and nobody had to worry about anything.

About six months later, I get this record in the mail from Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd with Brook Benton singing Rainy Night in Georgia. It was the first time I had ever heard anyone sing my song. I put it on the turntable and played it about 55 times in a row without stopping. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had to have someone take something and interpret that way. It was beautiful."




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