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samedi 12 décembre 2020

BOBBY "Guitar" BENNETT/ Blues Guitar Masters Vol. 9


BOBBY "GUITAR" BENNETT/ Blues Guitar Masters Volume 9



Bobby "Guitar" Bennett has long been a mystery figure among blues buffs, gaining a great reputation from his masterpiece When girls do it but very often being confused with another Bobby Bennett, a singer from James Brown's Famous Flames who also made a solo career under this name.

            Thanks to all-time great researcher and producer Dick Shurman who finally located and made possible an interview by the man, we now may know better our Bobby "Guitar" Bennett.


Courtesy Bobby Bennett

Clinton "Bobby" Bennett was born 24 February 1942 at Raeford, NC. He Learned guitar at a very early age with one of his uncle who was a staunch Jimmy Reed's fan. In 1957, Bobby Bennett was living in Dunn, NC. where a local DJ hired him to help him programming blues music on his radio show. The subsequent years saw Bobby playing guitar and singing blues and rock'n'roll on many clubs and radio programmes in Norfolk, Va. and Philadelphia where he gathered his first own band, performing in many clubs and venues and signing his first recording contract on the V-Tone label, waxing his first single The plea/ She's my girl in 1960. For a couple of years, Bobby was also a member of the Bandits, the band of Philadelphia drummer Pancho Villa (real name Charles Miller), recording at least one single with them for the Arliss label (Bobby's guitar). It is unsure if Bennett is present on the rest of Pancho Villa's 45s.


During the 1960's, Bobby Bennett was quite often on the studios, recording several singles between blues, Soul and Rock'n'roll and being constantly in-demand for live shows a little bit everywhere around Philly. When hired by bandleader Chuck Jackson, he added the tag "Guitar" between his first name and name, recording in 1964 the famous When girls do it with his terrific guitar solos and licks.

            During the early 1970's he seemed to disappear from the radars, just when the anthology When girls do it published in England and comprising this title gained a lot of interest towards the singer and guitarist Bobby "Guitar" Bennett. It's pretty sure he had been located at that time, Bobby "Guitar" Bennett would have toured Europe and recorded albums... But Philadelphia wasn't a town for blues researchers at that time.

            In fact, Bobby had to make a living out of music, playing only sporadically his brand of Soul and blues, mostly for private parties. In 1985, he turned himself almost exclusively to Gospel.

            This article is almost entirely based on Bobby Bennett's interview by Dick Shurman ad Gene Tomko and the subsequent article published in Living Blues 240. Thanks to those two brave researchers as well as Peter Sturman for his help with this comp.

                                          Gérard HERZHAFT


Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; Pancho Villa, dms; band. Philadelphia, PA. 1960

01. The plea

02. She's my girl

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; Pancho Villa, dms; band. Philadelphia, PA. 1961

03. Bobby's guitar

04. Baby's cakes hunch (as Pancho Villa)

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; Helen Way Singers, vcls; band. New York City, january 1962

05. The boss turn

06. Show me

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; Pancho Villa, dms; band. Philadelphia, PA. march 1962

07. Alone with my tears

08. Never going to let you go

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; band. New York City, 1963

09. Before I blow my stack

10. You don't love me true

11. You don't love me true (alt.)

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; band. New York City, february 1965

12. When girls do it

13. She's so fine

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; band. Philadelphia, PA. october 1965

14. Goin' home

15. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

16. Evol (Love spelled backwards)

17. You did it again

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; band. Philadelphia, PA. 1966

18. Big New York

19. Baby try me

Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, vcl/g; band. Philadelphia, PA. 1970

20. Days go by

21. Bumble bee (Sting me)



13 commentaires:

  1. Bobby "Guitar" Bennett/ Blues Guitar Masters Vol. 9

    OK? And thanks for the feedbacks

  2. This is a great post Gerard. I really love these "unknown" and under-appreciated artists. TYVM.

  3. Great as always, many thanks, Gerard

  4. Like you wrote in your introduction 'When Girls Do It" was my introduction to Bobby "Guitar" Bennett (and to a lot more). Brilliant 45 and I'll look forward to listening to all these tracks.

  5. Really looking forward to these tracks, Gerard. Many thanks for all that you do.

  6. Thank you for this collection. The title track on Red Lightnin' was already amazing.

  7. Merci Gérard pour ce post, excellent artiste bien que trop méconnu!

  8. Big thanks for this Gerard, always great to see you put some focus on these lesser-known artists.

  9. thanks Gerard. I didn't know this artist.

  10. Thanks, Gerard, for this absorbing and varied collection by a lesser known but very worthwhile performer.

  11. Merci beaucoup, Gérard.

  12. Wow, thanks! I am barely familiar with Bobby "Guitar" Bennett, but now that issue is about to be resolved. :-)