Ben Vaughn

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Ben Vaughn
BornCamden, New Jersey, United States
OriginCollingswood, New Jersey, United States
GenresRock, folk, blues, country, instrumental rock
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, composer for television and film, syndicated radio show host
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, bass, keyboards
Years active1983–present
LabelsRestless, Enigma, Making Waves, Virgin, Demon, DRO, Bar/None, Rhino, Munster, Club De Musique, Sky Ranch, Many Moods, Soundstage 15, Kizmiaz, Shoeshine

Ben Vaughn is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, composer for television and film, and syndicated radio show host.


Ben Vaughn grew up in outside Philadelphia in South Jersey. At age six, his uncle gave him a Duane Eddy record and forever changed his life. Raised in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey, Vaughn attended Audubon High School.[1]

In 1983, he formed the Ben Vaughn Combo. The band was together five years, releasing two albums and touring the U.S. several times. They received positive reviews in Rolling Stone and People magazine and video airplay on MTV. The attention inspired Marshall Crenshaw to record a version of Ben's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" for his Downtown album.

Vaughn embarked on a solo career in 1988, recording several critically acclaimed albums, touring extensively in Europe and the U.S. and receiving more MTV exposure. During that period he produced three records for the Elektra Records American Explorer series (Memphis rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers, Muscle Shoals country soul singer Arthur Alexander), and recorded Cubist Blues, a collaboration with Alan Vega and Alex Chilton. He also scored two films (Favorite Mopar and Wild Girl's Go-Go Rama), as well as appearing as a frequent guest commentator on nationally syndicated radio shows Fresh Air and World Cafe.

In 1995, Vaughn moved to L.A. and released Instrumental Stylings, an album of instrumentals in a variety of styles. A guest appearance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic led directly to being hired as the theme music composer for the TV sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. That 70s Show soon followed, and for the next ten years Ben would provide music for a dozen other TV shows and pilots (including Men Behaving Badly, Normal, Ohio, and Grounded for Life). He also provided scores for several films (Psycho Beach Party, The Independent, Scorpion Spring) and continued producing records (Ween, Los Straitjackets, Mark Olson of The Jayhawks, Nancy Sinatra, and the soundtrack CD of the film Swingers).

In 1997, Vaughn released Rambler '65. Recorded in Collingswood, New Jersey in his car, this album received positive reviews and is considered a classic in the genre.

Since then, Vaughn has released Designs In Music, Vaughn Sings Vaughn (volumes 1, 2, and 3), Texas Road Trip (recorded in Austin, Texas with Doug Sahm’s band), and Five By Five and Piece De Resistance by the Ben Vaughn Quintet. Other career highlights include an Italian dance hit (a DJ re-mix of “Hey Romeo”), airplay of “Jerry Lewis in France” on Bob Dylan’s radio show (complete with Dylan’s recitation of Ben’s resume), and two recent tours in France. In 2015 the Philadelphia Museum of Art hired Ben as musical curator for the acclaimed International Pop exhibit.

Occasionally, Vaughn takes a break from his syndicated radio show (The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn) to perform live in the US and Europe. He currently spends most of his time in the Mojave Desert of California.


  • The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn (1986) (Restless – US) (Making Waves – UK)
  • Beautiful Thing (1987) (Restless – US) (EMI – UK, Europe)
  • Ben Vaughn Blows Your Mind (1988) (Restless – US) (Virgin – UK, Europe) (DRO – Spain)
  • Dressed in Black (1990) (Enigma – US) (Demon – UK, Europe)
  • Mood Swings (1991) (Restless – US) (Demon – UK, Europe)
  • Mono US (1992) (Bar None – US) (Club De Musique – Italy) (Sky Ranch – France)
  • Instrumental Stylings (1995) (Bar None – US)
  • Cubist Blues (1996), with Alan Vega and Alex Chilton (Thirsty Ear - US) (Last Call - France), (reissued by Light In the Attic - US, Munster - Spain in 2006 with an extra disc recorded live)
  • Rambler '65 (1997) (Rhino – US) (Munster – Spain)
  • The Prehistoric Ben Vaughn (1998) (Munster – Spain)
  • A Date with Ben Vaughn (1999) (Shoeshine – UK)
  • Glasgow Time (2002) (Shoeshine – UK)
  • Designs in Music (2005) (Soundstage 15 – US) (Munster - Spain)
  • Vaughn Sings Vaughn, Vol.1 (2006) (Many Moods Records - US)
  • Vaughn Sings Vaughn, Vol. 2 (2007) ( Many Moods Records - US)
  • Vaughn Sings Vaughn, Vol. 3 (2007) (Many Moods Records - US)
  • Texas Road Trip (2014) (Many Moods Records - US)
  • Five By Five (2015) (MM Records US)
  • Piece De Resistance (2016) (Many Moods Records - US / Kizmiaz rds - Eu)


  1. ^ Appleford, Steve. "Backseat Man Ben Vaughn, Straight Out Of Camden, Has Found Soundtrack Success In Hollywood. But His Ride - And Sometime Recording Studio - Is Still An Aqua Rambler, Vintage 1965.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1997, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 3, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2020. "Few of his friends would be surprised at Vaughn's choice of mobile studio. Now 41, the Mount Ephraim native has driven nothing but Ramblers since Audubon High School, where even his love life hinged on acceptance of the boxy little cars."

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