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RIP Ben E. King “No I Won’t Be Afraid”

May 1, 2015
One of the great soulful voices in all of pop music has now passed on: Benjamin Earl King died yesterday, Thursday April 30, 2015 (born Sept. 28, 1938).
Another giant in music has left us only with memories that linger within us like melodic timelines in our own lives.

Both with the Drifters, and as a solo artist, Mr. King sang for everyone who ever heard his voice.

Many people have covered “Stand By Me”—even John Lennon—but it was Mr. King who will always have the definitive version of that song.
There is such conviction when he he sings
“When the night has come/And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid/Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand by me.”
It is a statement of both hope and faith.
And in “There is a Rose in Spanish Harlem”, there was a special red rose that grew “soft and sweet and dreaming.” Only his voice could let you understand the purity and depth to that dreaming.
As a member of the Drifters he sang lead on both great Doc Pomus  songs, “This Magic Moment” and “Save the Last Dance for Me.” From the wonder and joy of young love in This Magic Moment, to the moment of a loving, heartfelt request on Save the Last Dance for Me, Mr. King’s voice spoke of every romantic heart that ever fell under the magic spell of young love.
 He had that ability to make us all dream, not of the way things were, but of the way they could be. His voice assured us it would all be ok. No matter the turmoil, there would be moments in which someone would be there to stand by us. Magical moments.
May his magic moment last until the end of time, Rest in Peace, Ben E. King.
by Ron Wells
PS And let’s say a quick prayer for blues legend BB King while we’re at it. I have danced many a times to both of these amazing musicians. I am grateful that their music is part of my life.
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