Benny Benjamin


Benny Benjamin

William "Benny" Benjamin (July 25 1925 - April 20 1969), nicknamed Papa Zita, was an American musician, most notable as the main drummer for the Motown studio band known as The Funk Brothers. He was a native of Birmingham, Alabama.

Motown's first studio drummer, Benny Benjamin was noted for his dynamic style. Several Motown record producers, including Berry Gordy, refused to work on sessions unless Benjamin was the drummer and James Jamerson was the bassist. [http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=2027] . Among the Motown songs Benjamin performed the drum tracks for are early hits such as "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong, "Shop Around" by The Miracles, and "Do You Love Me" by The Contours; as well as later hits such as "Get Ready" by The Temptations, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight & the Pips and "Going To A Go-Go" by The Miracles.

Benjamin was notorious for being late to work, and also for creating highly fabricated and humorous stories for "why" he was late. Once caught sleeping at his drumkit by a Motown producer, Benjamin snapped awake and began drumming and calling out "Papa-zita, papa-zita, papa-zita," which is how he earned his nickname.

Benjamin was influenced by the work of drummers Buddy Rich and Tito Puente. He recorded with a studio set comprised of Ludwig, Slingerland, Rogers and Gretsch components.

By the late-1960s, Benjamin struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and fellow Funk Brothers Uriel Jones and Richard “Pistol” Allen performed more of the drum tracks for the studio's releases. Benjamin died on April 20, 1969 of a stroke at the age of 43, and was inducted into the "Sidemen" category of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

References

*cite visual | director=Justman, Paul | date=2002 | url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314725/ | title=Standing in the Shadows of Motown | medium=Motion picture | location=New York | distributor=Artisan Entertainment


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Benny Benjamin — William „Benny“ Benjamin (* 25. Juli 1925 in Detroit; † 20. April 1969 in Detroit) war ein US amerikanischer Session Schlagzeuger, der mit seiner Arbeit für Motown in den 1960er Jahren Berühmtheit erlangte. Benjamin hatte in den vierziger und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leonard, Benny (Benjamin Leiner) — (1896–1947)    US boxing champion. A poor boy from New York’s Lower East Side, Leonard went in for prize fighting at the age of fifteen and became the greatest lightweight boxer in the history of the sport. After holding the world championship… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Benny — ist eine Kurzform folgender männlicher Vornamen: Benedetto Benedikt Benjamin Benny ist der Vorname folgender Personen: Benny Andersson (* 1946), schwedischer Musiker, Komponist und Musikproduzent Benny Barnes (1934/1936 1985/1987), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benjamin (Name) — Benjamin ist ein männlicher Vorname, der auch als Nachname vorkommt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Varianten 2 Etymologie 3 Bekannte Namensträger 3.1 Vorname 3.2 Familienname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benjamin (Familienname) — Benjamin ist ein Familienname, der auch als Vorname genutzt wird. Zur Etymologie siehe Benjamin (Vorname). Bekannte Namensträger Adam Benjamin (1935–1982), US amerikanischer Politiker Alfred Benjamin (1911–1942), deutscher Widerstandskämpfer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benny — noun United States comedian known for his timeing and delivery and self effacing humor (1894 1974) • Syn: ↑Jack Benny, ↑Benjamin Kubelsky • Instance Hypernyms: ↑comedian, ↑comic …   Useful english dictionary

  • Benjamin Sisko — Benjamin Lafayette Sisko Species Human Home planet Earth (New Orleans, Louisiana) Affiliation United Federation of Planets St …   Wikipedia

  • Benny Goodman — from the film Stage Door Canteen (1943) Background information Birth name Benjamin David Goodman …   Wikipedia

  • Benjamin David Goodman — Benny Goodman Pour les articles homonymes, voir Goodman. Benny Goodman …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benny Friedman — Position(en): Quarterback, Placekicker Trikotnummer(n): 1, 6, 17, 21, 26 gebo …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.