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“B” is for Benton, Brook (1931-1988)

“B” is for Benton, Brook (1931-1988). Musician. A native of Camden, Benton moved to New York in 1948—doing odd jobs, performing in clubs, and writing for other artists. He and a partner wrote hits for Nat King Cole and Clyde McPhatter. In 1950 Benton recorded “It’s Just a Matter of time,” the first of twenty-three Top Forty hits in the next five years and the first of his eighteen million-sellers. Among these hits were “Endlessly,” “So Many Ways,” “Thank You, Pretty Baby,” and “Fools Rush In.” In the 1960s Mercury Records let his contract lapse. Benton’s only major hit after 1965 was his memorably languid version of “Rainy Night in Georgia” for Atlantic Records. Until his death, Brook Benton remained a popular nightclub and concert performer on the oldies circuit—especially in Great Britain.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.