After he moved to Harlem
, New York, in the mid-50s, Ben E. King sang with various Doo Wop groups, including both the Four Bs and The Five Crowns, before joining The Drifters as lead vocalaist. Although only a short-term member, he sang lead on 'There Goes My Baby
' and 'Save The Last Dance For Me'. After his departure, he signed with Atlantic
as a solo artist and, with producers Leiber and Stoller, spun on a string of classics, including 1961's 'Stand By Me', 'Young Boy Blues' and 'Spanish Harlem'.
The arrival of Stax and Motown in the 60s eclipsed King's type of music, but Supernatural (1975) and Benny And Us (1977)- a collaboration with The Average White Band- lifted the legend.
In 1986, 'Stand By Me' arrived in the US Top 10, thanks to the movie of the same name. The next year it topped the UK chart after its use in a Levi's ad. His album Stand By Me (The Ultimate Collection), featuring King's solo and Drifters gems, reached UK No. 14 in 1987 and led to appearances at that year's Glastonbury Festival and The Prince's Trust Rock Gala, and fresh recording for Atlantic. In 1990, 'Stand By Me' was named one of the most performed songs of the previous 50 years by the BPI.