Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett in 1970
July 1, 1939|
Pontotoc, Mississippi, United States
December 27, 2008 (aged 69)|
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Labels||Magnolia Gold, Elektra, Atco, Atlantic, Crescendo, Motown, MGM, Columbia, Stax, CBS Various (see 'Discography')|
Delaine Alvin "Delaney" 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 fame in partnership with his then-wife, Bonnie Bramlett, in a revolving troupe of professional musicians and rock superstars known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. After a stint in the United States Navy, he moved to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1960s, where 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 Shindogs, the house band of the television show Shindig!. During this time, he worked with J.J. Cale and Leon Russell and released some unsuccessful solo singles.One of these, "Guess I Must Be Dreamin'", entered the Cashbox "Looking Ahead" survey on May 14, 1967.
In the late 1960s, British guitarist Eric Clapton joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on tour, after which Bramlett produced and co-wrote songs for Clapton's debut solo album, Eric Clapton. Clapton has credited Bramlett for pushing him to sing and teaching him the art of rock vocals. Bramlett produced King Curtis's last album, which produced two hit singles, "Teasin'" and "Lonesome Long Way from Home".
Bramlett taught George Harrison, who was then with the Beatles, to play slide guitar, which 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 Clapton, Harrison, Leon Russell, King 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.
Bramlett was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame on January 18, 2011.
Personal life and death
Delaney was married to Bonnie Bramlett, his co-band leader, and together they had a daughter Bekka Bramlett, who was briefly a member of Fleetwood Mac in the mid 1990s and has had a long career as a vocalist, backing various country and pop artists and releasing several solo albums. Delaney and Bonnie divorced in 1972 and ended their musical partnership as well; though they still occasionally collaborated on one-off performances and projects.
Described in an obituary as a Southern legend, Bramlett died from complications of gall bladder surgery on December 27, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. He was buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
- 1969: Home (Stax STS-2026)
- 1969: Accept No Substitute [AKA The Original Delaney & Bonnie] (Elektra EKS-74039)
- 1970: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour with Eric Clapton (Atco SD 33-326)
- 1970: To Bonnie from Delaney (Atco SD 33-341)
- 1971: Genesis (early recordings from 1964-1965 and 1967) (GNP Crescendo GNPS-2054)
- 1971: Motel Shot (Atco SD 33-358)
- 1972: Country Life (Atco SD 33-383)
- 1972: D&B Together (Columbia KC-31377) -note: reissue of Country Life.
- 1972: The Best of Delaney & Bonnie (Atco SD-7014)
- 1972: Some Things Coming (Columbia KC-31631)
- 1973: Mobius Strip (Columbia KC-32420)
- 1975: Giving Birth To A Song (MGM SE-5011)
- 1977: Class Reunion (Prodigal P6-10017-S1)
- 1990: The Best of Delaney & Bonnie (Rhino R2-70777)
- 1998: Sounds From Home (Zane ZN-1013)
- 2004: Sweet Inspiration (rec. 1989) (Lemon LEM-36)
- 2007: A New Kind of Blues (Magnolia Gold MGR-7181)
- 1969: Elvin Bishop, Best of Elvin Bishop: "Tulsa Shuffle" - Rhythm guitar, background vocals, producer
- 1970: The Crickets, Rockin' 50's Rock 'n' Roll - Producer
- 1970: Elvin Bishop, Best of Elvin Bishop: "Crabshaw" - Producer
- 1970: Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton - Arranger, rhythm guitar, background vocals, producer
- 1970: Leon Russell, Leon Russell - Guitar
- 1970: Dave Mason, Alone Together - Guitar, vocals
- 1971: John Simon, John Simon's Album - Tambourine
- 1972: Elvin Bishop, Rock My Soul - Guitar, vocals, producer
- 1972: John Hammond Jr, I'm Satisfied - Producer, vocals, guitar
- 1972: Eric Clapton, The History of Eric Clapton - Guitar, vocals
- 1972: Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at His Best - Producer
- 1972: Duane Allman, An Anthology - Rhythm guitar, vocals, producer
- 1972: Everly Brothers, Stories We Could Tell - Guitar, vocals
- 1973: Jerry Lee Lewis, Sometimes a Memory Ain't Enough - Guitar, vocals
- 1973: Pacific Gas & Electric, Best - Producer
- 1973: John Ussery, Ussery - Percussion, producer, slide guitar
- 1974: Duane Allman, An Anthology Vol. II - Guitar, vocals
- 1976: Free Creek, Summit Meeting - Guitar
- 1978: Commander Cody, Flying Dreams - Vocals
- 1978: Dann Rogers, Hearts Under Fire - Background vocals
- 1982: Eric Clapton, Time Pieces: Best of Eric Clapton - Rhythm guitar, producer
- 1988: Eric Clapton, Crossroads - Guitar, vocals, producer, horn arrangements
- 1991: Zoo, Shakin' the Cage - Background vocals
- 1992: Phil Driscoll, Picture Changes - Background vocals
- 1992: Classic Rock Classic Rock [Cema] - Producer
- 1996: Heroes of Country Music, Vol. 5 - Vocals, producer
- 1997: Hank Thompson, Hank, Real Thing - Background vocals, National dobro
- 1998: Ian Whitcomb, You Turn Me On: The Very Best of Ian Whitcomb - Bass guitar
- 1998: T. Graham Brown, Wine into Water - Guitar, vocals
- 1999: Dave Mason, Ultimate Collection - Background vocals
- 2006: Jerry Lee Lewis, Last Man Standing, "Lost Highway" - Vocals
- 2006: (performer: "Attention to Me", "Coffee", "I Had to Come Back", "Something's Gotta Be Wrong") / (writer: "Attention to Me", "Coffee", "I Had to Come Back", "Something's Gotta Be Wrong") 
- Obituary: Delaney Bramlett; Songwriter Who Wrote 'Let It Rain'. Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2008.
- Ward, Ed. Eric Clapton: Eric Clapton (review). Rolling Stone, September 3, 1970.
- Indie Ezine
- A1 Artist Spotlight.com Archived 2008-06-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- CD Universe Sorry
- PBS 106.7FM: Real Radio – Jerry Lee Lewis' "Last Man Standing", pbsfm.org.au; accessed August 18, 2014.
- Delaney Bramlett: "A New Kind of Blues". CD Baby.
- Delaney Bramlett on IMDb
- Delaney Bramlett: The Death of a Southern Legend. swampland.com, 27 December 2008.
- Allmusic discography