Delaney Bramlett

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Delaney BramlettDelaney Bramlett (July 1, 1939 December 27, 2008) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. Bramlett's five decade career reached peaks in creativity, performance, and notoriety in partnership with his then wife Bonnie Bramlett, in a revolving troupe of professional musicians and Rock superstars dubbed Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.

Career

Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, United States. After a stint in the United States Navy, Bramlett moved to Los Angeles, California in the early 60's. There he established himself as a singer-songwriter, writing with fellow musicians Joey Cooper, Mac Davis and Jackie DeShannon. By 1965 Bramlett was a regular member of the house band of the television show Shindig!, the Shindogs. During this time, he worked with J.J. Cale and Leon Russell and released some unsuccessful solo singles.

The British guitarist Eric Clapton joined Delaney, Bonnie & Friends on tour in the late 1960s, after which Delaney produced and co-wrote songs for Clapton's debut solo album, Eric Clapton. Clapton still credits Delaney for pushing him to sing and teaching him the art of rock vocals. Bramlett produced King Curtis' last LP, which had two hit singles: 'Teasin'' and 'Lonesome Long Way from Home'.

Bramlett taught then Beatle George Harrison to play slide guitar, which led into a gospel jam that resulted in Harrison's hit 'My Sweet Lord'. Bramlett wrote, recorded, or appeared on stage with many notable performers, including Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Billy Preston, John Lennon, The Everly Brothers, Spooner Oldham, Steve Cropper and Billy Burnette. Members of the Friends appearing in concert or recording with Bramlett on Friends albums include a galaxy of stars and highly respected side men, including Clapton, Harrison, Russell, Curtis, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Keltner, Bobby Keys, and Gram Parsons.

In 2006 Bramlett was one of the duet artists on the Jerry Lee Lewis album Last Man Standing, singing and playing guitar on 'Lost Highway'. In 2008, the year of his death, Bramlett released his first CD in six years, A New Kind of Blues.

Over the years, some of Bramlett's songs have reached music 'standard's' status, such as 'Superstar', which he co-wrote with Leon Russell and his first wife, Bonnie Bramlett. 'Superstar', was most notably recorded by The Carpenters, reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and spent two weeks at number one on the Easy Listening chart that autumn en route to going Gold. The song was also recorded by Luther Vandross, Sonic Youth, and Usher, among others.

The Bramlett's 'Never Ending Song of Love' has been covered by others, and appears on the soundtrack of RV and A Good Year. Bramlett co-wrote the Eric Clapton hit, 'Let It Rain'.

On January 18, 2011, Bramlett was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.

Death

Described in an obituary as a 'Southern Legend', Bramlett died from complications of gall bladder surgery on December 27, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. Delaney was survived by his widow, Susan Lanier-Bramlett, a brother, John Wayne Bramlett, three daughters, Michele Bramlett, Suzanne Bramlett, Bekka Bramlett, a stepson Dylan Thomas and two grandchildren.

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