The Singer: The line between smooth jazz and slow jams got a lot thinner when guitarist George Benson released 1976’s Breezin’. Benson came up playing with organist Brother Jack McDuff and guested on Miles Davis’ Miles in the Sky, but Breezin’ and its hit “This Masquerade” recast Benson from ace guitarist to husky-voiced R&B star. He scored hits with “Turn Your Love Around” and “Lady Love Me (One More Time),” and his rendition of the Drifters’ “On Broadway” became the definitive version.
The Song: Produced by Quincy Jones, “Give Me the Night” shimmers with the anticipation of a night on the town. The quick, jazzy strokes of Benson’s guitar give way to some scat-inflected singing, and the airy background vocals help give the song an echo-y fog.
The Video: The clip for “Give Me the Night” is mostly a mimicked live performance of the song, but the director chose to intersperse it with some sweet beachfront rollerskating scenes.
Hipster Cachet: Benson recorded the first version of “The Greatest Love of All” for the 1977 Muhammed Ali biopic The Greatest. Seven years later, Whitney Houston would turn it into her signature song.
-- Christian Schaeffer
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.