Delaney Bramlett, a much more influential than popular musician, died Saturday at 69. The Reuters obit is about the most complete.
He and his wife’s group, Delaney and Bonnie & Friends, from the late ’60s, early ’70s, never hit it really big, but had some recognizable tunes such as Only You Know And I Know. More interesting, the group featured many stars among its sidemen. Eric Clapton played with D&B following his tour with Blind Faith. Dave Mason was in that version of the group as well and George Harrison guested. Other luminaries included bassist Jim Radle, sax player Bobby Keys, now with the Stones, drummer Jim Gordon, keyboard player Bobby Whitlock and trumpet player Jim Horn and many more. Most of them played in Mad Dogs & Englishman with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell and Clapton took Radle, Gordon and Whitlock to form Derek & and Dominoes.
In his biography, he takes credit for teaching Harrison to play slide and how to write a gospel song. He also produced Clapton’s first solo album, arguably one of his, if not his best. A recent deluxe edition of the album featured a second disc with Bramlett’s original production mix.
Also, he really brought Clapton out as a singer. His voice on that album, Eric Clapton, is miles ahead of his efforts in Cream.
One personal anecdote. I saw the Blind Faith concert at Bridgeport’s Kennedy Stadium in the summer of 1968, the second of their cross-country tour. D&B opened up. The stage was portable and set up on the football field. What served as backstage was simply a roped-off section separating the crowd from the musicians. I was backstage because the drummer in my band, Pulse, was the promoter’s son.
When Clapton arrived, and by the way the four members of Blind Faith arrived in separate limos, he was immediately grooving to D&B on the side of the stage. This was the second concert! He was gone. The ill-fated, albeit financially successful, Blind Faith tour may as well have ended right there artistically. The group broke up before the end of the tour and Clapton was playing with D&B and planning the solo album.
I also include this post from the Winwood Fans newsletter, written by David Pearcy, who has a very interesting web site.
It was with great sadness that I woke up this morning to the
newspaper story that singer/singwriter/music legend Delaney Bramlett
died Saturday morning from complications of gallbladder surgery. He
The list of music luminaries that he worked played and recorded with
is long. He wrote “Let It Rain” for Eric Clapton and produced Eric’s
first solo album in 1970. He taught George Harrison how to play
slide guitar (he told me that himself) and even took George on tour
with the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends group for which George thanked
him by giving him the one of a kind Fender Telecaster that George is
seen playing in the rooftop concert at the end of the “Let It Be”
I met Delaney in 2002 in Nashville when he came to town to sing
backup (along with ex-wife Bonnie) at daughter Bekka’s CD release
party at a small club in Nashville.(the first time the two had
performed together in 25 years).
I went down that afternoon hoping to catch them rehearsing and
entered a propped open side door and there he was.I introduced
myself and gave him a couple of photos from the day Jimi Hendrix sat
in with Delaney’s band 1969 at a gig in Los Angeles. Delaney was
visibly moved. He held the color photo to his chest and said, “This
is just a joy.” He thanked me and he and Bonnie signed my copies and
I gave them both copies. He even gave me his email address and phone
number (how cool is THAT?) and we talked a couple of times on the
phone. He sent me a copy of his unreleased new CD (he had no record
deal at the time) and I hooked him up with the people at XM Satellite
Radio and they interviewed himon the air and put his new music into
rotation on the Blues and Classic Rock channels.
He talked of coming back to Nashville to visit and coming by my home
to teach my son (a young musician) the rudiments of slide guitar).
To see the photos he and Bonnie signed for me go to my website and
click on the “Autographs” link and scroll down.There is also the
link to his website in the links section.