Monday, June 17, 2013

Bill Zorn & Jon Benns

A bit of an obscure LP this I picked up at the boot sale this week.  Made for the evn more obscure Sunrise label in 1984.  An American ,Bill Zorn, teamed up with a comedian Jon Benns to form Bill & Benns back in the 70's but they passed me by I must admit. The Lp though is a bit of a curates egg - some great tracks and some that are not so great!

Bill Zorn seems to have gone back to the states in the 90's and joined The Limelighters. This is from their website -

"Bill was born in May, 1948. In 1970, after studying music and drama at Arizona State University, Bill earned a place with The New Christy Minstrels where he performed, directed and toured from Viet Nam to the White House (twice) for four years. A contact of Bill's from hosting a TV talk show was a then unknown singer, Kenny Rogers. Rogers told Bill there was an opening upcoming in the New Christy Minstrels. Bill informs us, "I replaced a guy named Byron Walls, who wrote one of Glen Yarbrough's signature songs, "Grandma's Letter." This was maybe the fourth generation of the group by that time, and I stayed with them for four years as their musical director. My brother was also in the group, and it was a great experience for us."
Then he became a banjo-playing full member of The Kingston Trio for three years. Bill says, "It was three years of full throttled, non-stop fun - like a Mardi Gras that never ends. But it was also lots and lots of travel and after a time I had to admit to myself that I just couldn't keep up with the pace. Remember, I had just come off of four years of the same with the Christy's. Every fiber of me was exhausted. I finally had to say to myself it's stay in the group and die, so I decided to take up my brother on his offer come have a good rest at this place in England."
Bill's move to England in 1977 didn't stop him from performing, and while there he recorded a hit single with his brother called "Car '67." He has also had his share of television acting, voice-over work, and comedy, gained by teaming up with British comedian Jon Benns to form the successful duo "Bill and Benns" in England. In 1995, while still in England, Bill produced a Glenn Yarbrough album called Chantyman."

Tracks are as follows  -  1. Wake Up  2. Conversation Piece 3. Billboards 4. Prune Pit Jackson 5. Luang Prabang 6. Oh Lord, When I Die

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