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Ben E. King Spanish Harlem

Ben E. King Spanish Harlem

Sounds of Soul

This golden oldie, usually categorized under soul music, ¬†was written by Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber . It was Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller production o for Acto Records. The arranger Stan Applebaum included Spanish guitar and marimba as well as drum-beats, a soprano saxophone, strings, and a male chorus. “Spanish Harlem” was released at the end of 1960 and went up the charts to #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B Chart. The song is on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. There have been numerous covers, including versions by Jay and the America, Andy Williams, Aretha Franklin, Laura Nyro, Long John Baldry, The Mamas & the Papas, Leon Russell, Percy Faith, Chet Atkins, Neil Diamond, Trini Lopez, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Jimmy Justice, and Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass.

Ben E. King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson North Carolina, in 1938. He was a revered R&B and soul singer. He is probably best known for co-authoring and for performing “Stand by Me” as well as his work with doo wop R&B group The Drifters. He passed away recently from coronary problems on April 30, 2015.

Here are the lyrics to “Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King:

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
With eyes as black as coal that look down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon

I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows in my garden

I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows in my garden

(There is a rose in Spanish Harlem)
La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la
(There is a rose in Spanish Harlem)
La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la
(There is a rose in Spanish Harlem)”

If you are interested in another golden oldie that was co-authored and performed by Ben E. King, please click here to read and listen to “Stand by Me.”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop.

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