|Born||October 27, 1939|
Gilmer, Texas, United States
|Labels||Nola Blue, Inc.|
|Associated acts||Freddie King, Dee Clark, Mighty Joe Young, Marva Wright|
Benny Turner (born October 27, 1939) is an American blues musician. He is the younger brother of Freddie King and was the bass guitarist for the Freddie King Band. Later, Turner joined Mighty Joe Young as the bass guitarist of his band before becoming the bandleader for Marva Wright for 20 years. After many years as a sideman, Benny then started his solo career.
Turner was born in Gilmer, Texas on October 27, 1939. He and his older brother Freddie King learned how to play guitar from their mother, Ella Mae (King) Turner, and her brothers Leon and Leonard King. In the 1950s, Turner moved to Chicago with his family.
Turner started his music career playing guitar for The Kindly Shepherds, a gospel group on the Nashboro Records label. He joined the group on several recordings, playing guitar and accompanying background vocals. At the time, Turner also started playing with his brother at Chicago clubs such as the Squeeze Club and Walton's Corner, where he met Dee Clark and was invited to join him and his R&B band on the road.
Later, Turner would play bass for The Soul Stirrers. He eventually rejoined his brother's band and toured regularly, performing with musicians such as Eric Clapton, John Fogerty and Grand Funk Railroad. While at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973, members of Freddie's band were asked to sit in with Memphis Slim, and Turner played bass on the recording of "Memphis Slim – Very Much Alive and in Montreux."
Following the death of Freddie King in 1976, Turner became deeply depressed and was hospitalized. After two years of seclusion, he was convinced to start performing again and joined Mighty Joe Young's band, which he played in for eight years. During that time, Turner and Young appeared in the 1981 film Thief while playing live at the Wise Fools Pub in Chicago. Later, Turner moved to New Orleans and became the bandleader for Marva Wright in 1986, playing with her band for 20 years.
After Wright's death in 2010, Turner went on to release four albums including his critically acclaimed 2014 album of original work called Journey. He also rejoined other members of the original Freddie King band for a brief tour celebrating King's 80th birthday. His 2016 album When She's Gone was dedicated to his mother Ella Mae and featured a collection of six original reissues from his album, Blue and Not So Blue, and four blues standards. His autobiography, Survivor : The Benny Turner Story, was published on July 8, 2017. Also in 2017, Benny released his latest album, My Brother's Blues. This award-winning album is a tribute to big brother Freddie King and features 11 tunes from Freddie's songbook that are of special significance to Benny.
Awards and Accolades
- 2014 Offbeat Best of the Beat Awards - Nominee for Best Blues Album - Journey
- 2015 International Songwriting Competition - Finalist for Blues Song - Breakin' News
- 2016 Blues Blast Music Awards - Nominee for Soul Blues Album - When She's Gone
- 2016 Independent Blues Awards Awards - Nominee for Best Traditional Blues CD - When She's Gone 
- 15th Independent Music Awards - Winner for Blues Song - I Can't Leave
- 16th Independent Music Awards - Nominee for Tribute CD - My Brother's Blues
- 2018 Global Music Awards - Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement - My Brother's Blues
- Benny received the 2017 Jus Blues Music Foundation "Little Milton Lifetime Bluesman Award"
- Benny was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2017
- October 27, 2017 was named "Benny Turner Day" in Gilmer, TX by proclamation of Mayor Tim Marshall
- Benny is a nominee in the 39th Blues Music Awards in the Instrumentalist-Bass category
- 25th annual Living Blues Awards, Critics' Poll - Winner for Most Outstanding Musician (Bass)
|Gives You a Bonanza of Instrumentals||Freddie King||1965||Bass|
|Very Much Alive and in Montreux||Memphis Slim||1973||Bass|
|Larger Than Life||Freddie King||1975||Bass|
|Freddie King (1934-1976)||Freddie King||1977||Bass|
|Takin' Care of Business||Freddie King||1985||Electric bass, bass|
|Live in Antibes, 1974||Freddie King||1988||Bass|
|Live at the Wise Fools Pub||Mighty Joe Young||1990||Guitar (bass)|
|The Blues Is...||Otis Clay||1991||Vocals, bass|
|The Gospel Truth||Otis Clay||1993||Guitar, background vocals, bass|
|When the Gates Swing Open||Otis Clay||1994||Guitar, background vocals, bass|
|Let the Good Times Roll||Freddie King||1994||Bass|
|Born with the Blues||Marva Wright||1996||Bass|
|Mighty Man||Mighty Joe Young||1997||Guitar (bass)|
|Bluesiana Mama||Marva Wright||1999||Bass|
|Paris Mississippi Blues||Memphis Slim||2005||Bass|
|Do Right Woman: The Soul of New Orleans||Marva Wright||2006||Bass|
|After the Levees Broke||Marva Wright||2007||Producer, arranger, guitar (bass),background vocals|
|A Tribute to My Brother Freddie King||Benny Turner||2011||Primary artist|
|Journey||Benny Turner||2014||Primary artist|
|When She's Gone||Benny Turner||2016||Primary artist, producer, composer, bass, guitar, vocals|
|My Brother's Blues||Benny Turner||2017||Primary artist|
- "Bio". Benny Turner. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
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- Jones, Scott (July 1, 2014). "Gilmer native seeks more recognition for musical family". CBS. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Houston, Daniel (December 17, 2015). "Members of Freddie King's original touring band reunite for Richardson concert". Dallas News. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- results, search; Dahl, Bill (8 July 2017). "Survivor: The Benny Turner Story". BookBaby. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via Amazon.
- "SURVIVOR". Benny Turner. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Benny Turner – My Brother's Blues | Album Review". www.bluesblastmagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "OffBeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards 2014". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "2016 Blues Blast Music Awards – Blues Blast Magazine". www.bluesblastmagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "Independent Blues Awards Announced! – Making A Scene!". Making A Scene!. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "The 15th Independent Music Awards Winners - Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "The 16th Independent Music Awards Nominees - Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "Global Music Awards - Music Competition". www.globalmusicawards.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "2017 Honorees". JUS BLUES MUSIC FOUNDATION. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "Chicago Blues Hall of Fame ® Artists inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame ® on October 15th. 2017 includes:: Eddie C. Campbell Holle Thee Maxwell Gene "Daddy G" Barge Barry Goldberg Carl Weathersby Merle Perkins Big Llou Johnson Billy Branch John Primer Benny Turner Katherine Davis Carlos Johnson Abb Locke Mary Lane Zora Young Felton Crews Shirley Johnson Smiley Tillmon Peaches Staten Lil' Ed Williams Mike Garrett James "Pookie" Young". www.blueshalloffame.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- Inc., Nola Blue,. "October 27 named "Benny Turner Day" in Gilmer, TX". PRLog. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "BLUES MUSIC AWARDS - Blues Foundation". blues.org. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "25th Annual Living Blues Awards (2018) - Living Blues Magazine". Living Blues Magazine. 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
- "Benny Turner Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "My Brother's Blues". Amazon.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.