John Benson Brooks

John Benson Brooks (February 23, 1917, in Houlton, Maine – November 13, 1999, in New York City) was an American jazz pianist, songwriter, arranger, and composer.

Brooks worked early in his career as an arranger for Randy Brooks, Les Brown, Boyd Raeburn, and Tommy Dorsey. He worked often with lyricists Eddie DeLange and Bob Russell in the 1940s; he and DeLange wrote the song "Just as Though You Were Here," a hit for Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra as vocalist. He wrote "You Came a Long Way from St. Louis" with Bob Russell for Ray McKinley, released as a single in 1948.

In 1956, Brooks worked with Zoot Sims and Al Cohn on the recording, "Folk Jazz U.S.A.", and was recognized as a composer during this time. His works blend elements of folk music and dodecaphony with the idioms of modern jazz. In 1958, he composed a work entitled Alabama Concerto and assembled a cast of sidemen for a recording which included Cannonball Adderley, Art Farmer, Barry Galbraith, and Milt Hinton. The recording was eventually re-issued under Adderley's name.

Brooks was a close friend of Gil Evans. Evans later recorded his works "Sirhan's Blues" and "Where Flamingos Fly" (the last co-written with Harold Courlander and Elthea Peale). Brooks and Courlander collaborated on a book of transcriptions of rural blues and spirituals in Alabama, which provided some of the inspiration for the Alabama Concerto. A trio Brooks formed In the 1960s performed at the International Jazz Festival in Washington in 1962 with a composition called "The Twelves," based on improvisations on twelve-tone rows. This became part of an LP called "Avant Slant," which was a collage of new and already recorded sounds and songs from Milt Gabler, the poet Robert Graves, LeRoi Jones, Lightnin' Hopkins, and others.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 23, 1917 (Houlton), Died November 13, 1999 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1942 - 1967

Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger, piano, songwriter, composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 48 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-073487 10-in. 3/30/1942 Who threw the whiskey in the well? Hardway Four ; Sunset Orchestra ; Doc Wheeler Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal quartet songwriter  
Victor BS-075204 10-in. 5/18/1942 Just as though you were here The Pied Pipers ; Frank Sinatra ; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal ensemble songwriter  
Victor D5VB-0600 10-in. 9/11/1945 A door will open Stuart Foster ; Sentimentalists ; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Male vocal solo, with vocal chorus and jazz/dance band composer  
Victor D7VB-2122 10-in. 11/24/1947 The Missouri is a devil of a woman Sons of the Pioneers Male vocal solo, with male vocal group and instrumental ensemble songwriter  
Victor D7VB-2124 10-in. 11/24/1947 My feet takes me away Sons of the Pioneers Male vocal quartet, with string band songwriter  
Victor D7VB-2215 10-in. 11/19/1947 A boy from Texas - a girl from Tennessee Artie Dunn ; Sun Maids ; Three Suns Male vocal solo, with female vocal group and instrumental trio songwriter  
Victor D7VB-3111 10-in. 12/31/1947 You came a long way (from St. Louis) Ray McKinley ; Some of the boys Male vocal solo, with instrumental quartet songwriter  
Columbia CCO4994 10-in. 4/25/1948 A boy from Texas - a girl from Tennessee Gene Autry ; Melody Ranch Gang String band, with male vocal solo and mixed vocal chorus songwriter  
Decca 72964 10-in. 7/2/1945 No more Toujours l'amour Randy Brooks arranger  
Decca 72965 10-in. 7/2/1945 I'd do it all over again Randy Brooks arranger  
Decca 72966 10-in. 7/2/1945 I'm gonna love that guy Randy Brooks arranger  
Decca 72995 10-in. 8/3/1945 I'm gonna love that guy Randy Brooks ; Marion Hutton arranger  
Decca 72996 10-in. 8/3/1945 Benny's comin' home on Saturday Randy Brooks ; Marion Hutton arranger  
Decca 72997 10-in. 8/3/1945 Holiday forever Randy Brooks arranger  
Decca 73171 10-in. 12/3/1945 Thunder rock Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73208 10-in. 12/3/1945 Harlem nocturne Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73209 10-in. 12/3/1945 I never thought I'd sing the blues Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73210 10-in. 12/3/1945 In a moon mist Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73211 10-in. 12/3/1945 Don't let me dream Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73469 3/22/1946 Somebody loves me Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73470 3/22/1946 Without you (Tres palabras) Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73471 3/22/1946 Strange love Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73499 4/12/1946 A night at The Deuces Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73500 4/12/1946 How high the moon Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
Decca 73501 4/12/1946 Beyond the blue horizon Randy Brooks Orchestra arranger  
(Results 1-25 of 48 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Brooks, John Benson," accessed July 20, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109402.

Brooks, John Benson. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109402.

"Brooks, John Benson." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 20 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109402

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