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Stand By Me by Ben E. King

"Stand by Me" by Ben E. King on ATCO

Soul Music

The song “Stand by Me” is more than one of the golden oldies; a classic R&B, soul song from this first era of rock and roll. The song was a collaboration among Ben E. King and the famous writing/producing team of Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller (yes, another Leiber and Stoller song) soon after King’s departure from R&B doo wop group The Drifters. The song helped to give King a solid reputation as a solo artist. The song is based on the gospel hymn “Stand by Me” by Rev. Charles Albert Tindley, which was written in 1905, and text from Psalm 46:2-3. Among numerous recordings of the song, there was the popular one by The Staple Singers in 1955. (Please click here to listen to their version.)The collaboration of King, Lieber, and Stoller, though,¬†changed the song in many ways — the sound, the arrangement, the lyrics. And, of course, there’s King’s performance. ¬†In 1960, “Stand by Me” went to #1 on the R&B chart, #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and #27 on the U.K. chart. “Stand by Me ” was just added ( March 25 ) to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for being ” culturally significant. ” A great recording , by a great performer, much deserved honor!

The song is featured in the 1986 film Stand by Me and charted again, going to #9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The film was a coming-of-age drama based on the novella The Body by Stephen King. It starred Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, and Kiefer Sutherland. It was narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. The song was also used in a Levi’s commercial in the U.K. and in 1987 rose to #1 on the U.K. singles chart. There have been covers by Cassius Clay (who became Muhammad Ali), David Ruffin from The Temptations, John Lennon, and Prince Royce, among others.

Ben E. King was born Benjamin Earl King on September 28, 1938, and passed away on April 30, 2015.

Here are the lyrics to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King:

“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, stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand, stand by me
Stand by me

If the sky, that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me
Stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me, stand by me
Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me
Oh stand by me, oh won’t you stand now, stand
Stand by me
Stand by me”

If you would like to read about another by Ben E. King, this time with The Drifters, please click here for “Save the Last Dance for Me.” For music by Ben E. King to purchase, please consider this from amazon: Stand By Me: The Platinum Collection


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 our Youtube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “My Blue Heaven” by Fats Domino.


  1. My most favorite song in the whole wide world is “Stand By Me” by Ben E King.I was surprised and glad to learn that the original was inspired by a gospel song.I listened to Elvis Pressley’s version…it is really BEAUTIFUL!!THANK YOU for sharing this!!

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