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
Instrument(s)Vocals, 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
Websitewww.benvaughn.com

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

Biography[edit]

Ben Vaughn grew up in the Philadelphia area on the New Jersey side of the river. South Jersey.[1] At age 6, his uncle gave him a Duane Eddy record and forever changed his life. </ref> He started playing the drums in a garage band when he was 12, then transitioned to the guitar. After school he would go to a local department store, where he would borrow the guitars and practice over chord sheets.[2]

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 rave reviews in Rolling Stone and People magazine and video airplay on MTV.  The attention inspired Marshall Crenshaw to record Ben's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" for his "Downtown" album.

Ben 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, Ben 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 composer for the hit TV sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. That '70s Show soon followed, and for the next ten years Ben would provide award-winning music for a dozen other TV shows and pilots ("Men Behaving Badly," "Normal, Ohio," "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 "Swingers" soundtrack CD).

Somehow Ben found time to create the legendary "Rambler'65." Recorded entirely in his car, this much-publicized album (and subsequent short film) is still considered by many to be a classic document of a man and his dream. [3]

Since then, Ben has released “Designs In Music," “Vaughn Sings Vaughn Vols. 1-3,” “Texas Road Trip” (recorded in Austin, Texas with Doug Sahm’s band), "Five By Five" and "Piece de Resistance" by the Ben Vaughn Quintet and the solo acoustic album, “Imitation Wood Grain And Other Folk Songs.” His most recent release, “The World Of Ben Vaughn,” coincided with Record Store Day 2022. Add to that an Italian dance hit (a DJ re-mix of “Hey Romeo”), airplay of “Jerry Lewis in France” on Bob Dylan’s radio program (complete with Dylan’s recitation of Ben’s resume), and you’re looking at what continues to be a very interesting career.

Occasionally, Ben takes a break from his syndicated radio show (“The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn”) [4] to perform live in the US and Europe.  He toured Spain as recently as June 2022.

Discography[edit]

  • 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)
  • Imitation Wood Grain and Other Folk Songs (2018) (Many Moods Records - US)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About". Ben Vaughn. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Healy, Pat. "024: Ben Vaughn". Music Is My Life. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  3. ^ Roberts, Randall (March 1997). "Ben Vaughn / '65 Rambler / Rhino". CMJ New Music Monthly (43). Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  4. ^ "The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn". Ben Vaughn. Retrieved February 16, 2022.

External links[edit]