Benny Benjamin, one of the most outstanding musicians of all time

Benny Benjamin is, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding musicians of all time. And for many years, he was the only inspiration that got Berry Gordy into the studio to record. 

Funk Bros
Funk Bros

Benny is widely known for his hard-swinging style whenever he was working on any project. Today, many of the best drummers admire Berry’s drumming simply because of how he maneuvered among different.

Once, Berry Gordy said that he could not enter a studio unless Benny was behind the stick. He was talented with an extraordinary gift of offering distinctive sounds for different rhythms. Hence, the Motown founder labelled him his primary session drummer.

Apart from his drumming style, Benny has an extraordinary pulse for steadiness. His way of keeping the tempo was, hence, better than a metronome.

Time-keeping is one of the hardest things a drummer has to learn, and you will discover that many struggle with it. It is, therefore, incredibly awesome that Benny had the built-in system in his body that did a better job.

There is no single project he was involved in, in which he missed the tempo, something that may have admired.

Benjamin is well known for his participation in many down tons of Motown hits. He worked on Barret Strong’s song, “Money (That Is What I Want).” His role in The Temptations’ “My Girl,” created a masterpiece that holds a high stature even with the modern generation.

He played alongside session mates called the Funk Brothers, who named him “Papa Zita.” This was a major point in his career, as it contributed largely to him becoming famous. And perhaps, it was not just because of his strength of handling drums, but in the way, he integrated rhythm with every tune that came out.

This became his mark, which many other drummers that came after he said were on a whole new level.

Benjamin was not just a professional drummer; he put in all his effort and might in every piece he performed. This earned him a great reputation across the region, making him one of the most sorts after drummers of his time.

Unfortunately, Benjamin, like many other drummers of the 60s and 70s, could not resist the temptation of drugs. Because of this, he frequently missed from the studio, either because he was high or because of therapy. He continued so until succumbed to a stroke in 1969, but not before leaving his mark in the industry.

Benny Benjamin Feature
Benny Benjamin

But Benjamin did not go without crowing his successor. He mentored the young Stevie Wonder, who now credits his drumming style to his mentor. In 1973, Wonder was quoted telling of how he learned by just listening to Benjamin.

He says, the drummer reckoned with major forces in the Motown sound. And if he had lived longer, no one would have matched him.

Benny was one drummer who understands style, rhythm, and entertainment. And he combined these factors to create some of the most outstanding performances of all time. Hence, many drummers have continued to learn from him, copying his style whenever they can.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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