Delaney Bramlett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Delaney Bramlett
Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett in 1970
Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett in 1970
Background information
Born(1939-07-01)July 1, 1939
Pontotoc, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 27, 2008(2008-12-27) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresBlues, rock, country, gospel
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
LabelsMagnolia Gold, Elektra, Atco, Atlantic, Crescendo, Motown, MGM, Columbia, Stax, CBS

Delaine Alvin "Delaney" Bramlett (July 1, 1939 – December 27, 2008) was an American singer and guitarist. He was best known for his musical partnership with his wife Bonnie Bramlett in the band Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, which included a wide variety of other musicians, many of whom were successful in other contexts.

Early life[edit]

Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. He began playing guitar when he was eight years old, but didn't get serious about the instrument until he was a teenager. He started singing in school and at twelve he had a quartet. Bramlett joined the United States Navy before he was 17, serving for two and half to three years. He took boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes, spending over half his hitch there.[1]

After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, where he worked as a bartender before he started performing in clubs.


Bramlett was performing at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood when he was asked to appear in a pilot for a new television show, Shindig!.[1] By 1965, Bramlett was a regular member of the Shindogs, the show's house band. He collaborated as a songwriter with fellow musicians Joey Cooper, Mac Davis, and Jackie DeShannon.[2] During this time, he worked with J.J. Cale and Leon Russell and released some unsuccessful solo singles. Bramlett was the first artist signed to Independence Records, headed by Phil Skaff.[3] His debut single "Guess I Must be Dreamin" was produced by Russell,[3] entering the Cashbox "Looking Ahead" survey on May 14, 1967.[citation needed]

In the late 1960s British guitar icon 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.[4] Bramlett produced King Curtis's last album,[5] which produced two hit singles, "Teasin'" and "Lonesome Long Way from Home".

Bramlett taught Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison to play slide guitar, prominently featured in Harrison's hit "My Sweet Lord".[6] Bramlett wrote, recorded, or appeared on stage with many notable performers, including Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix,[7] Janis Joplin, Billy Preston, John Lennon, the Everly Brothers, Duane Allman, 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, Curtis, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Keltner, Bobby Keys, and Gram Parsons.

Their album Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton (1970) reached No. 29 on the Billboard 200.[8] Between 1970 and 1972, the duo had seven songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including their best-known single, the poignant "Never Ending Song of Love", which peaked at No. 13 and a cover of Dave Mason's "Only You Know and I Know", which peaked at No. 20.[8] Delaney & Bonnie ended their professional and personal relationship in 1972.[9]

In 2006, Bramlett was one of the duet artists on the Jerry Lee Lewis album Last Man Standing,[10] singing and playing guitar on "Lost Highway". In 2008, Bramlett released his first CD in six years, A New Kind of Blues.[11] He died later that year.

Personal life[edit]

Bramlett was married to Bonnie Lynn O'Farrell. The couple 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. Their marriage was marred by violence due to their cocaine addictions.[9] They divorced in 1972, ending their musical partnership as well.[9]

Bramlett married Kim Carmel Bramlett in 1992. They were together for 13 years, the longest relationship of Delaney's by far. Kim, a versatile musician/singer as well as chief engineer at the studio, recorded the last several albums during the period of 1989–2000. They divorced in 2001.

Bramlett died from complications of gallbladder surgery at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles on December 27, 2008.[12] Surviving were his widow Susan Lanier-Bramlett; a brother, John Wayne Bramlett; three daughters, Michele Bramlett, Suzanne Bramlett, and Bekka Bramlett; and two grandchildren. He was buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Described in an obituary as a "Southern Legend",[13] Bramlett's song "Never Ending Song of Love" has been covered by others and was used on the soundtrack of the films RV and A Good Year.[14] Bramlett co-wrote Clapton's hit song "Let It Rain".[15]

Bramlett was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame on January 18, 2011.[16]


Delaney & Bonnie[edit]


  • 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)
  • 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)[17]

Other credits[edit]

  • 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
  • 1973: Jerry Lee Lewis, The Session...Recorded in London – Bottleneck 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[18]
  • 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") [1]


  1. ^ a b Hopkins, Jerry (May 31, 1969). "Interview: Delaney & Bonnie". Rolling Stone.
  2. ^ Obituary: Delaney Bramlett; Songwriter Who Wrote 'Let It Rain'. Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "First Disk Bowed By Indep'dence" (PDF). Billboard. April 8, 1967. p. 16.
  4. ^ Ward, Ed. Eric Clapton: Eric Clapton (review). Rolling Stone, September 3, 1970.
  5. ^ Indie Ezine
  6. ^ A1 Artist Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ CD Universe Sorry
  8. ^ a b "Delaney & Bonnie Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Harris, Cassi (March 14, 1993). "NEW START". Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ PBS 106.7FM: Real Radio – Jerry Lee Lewis' "Last Man Standing" Archived July 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed August 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Delaney Bramlett: "A New Kind of Blues" Archived January 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. CD Baby.
  12. ^ Obituary: Delaney Bramlett; songwriter who wrote 'Let It Rain', Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2008.
  13. ^ Delaney Bramlett: The Death of a Southern Legend,, December 27, 2008.
  14. ^ Delaney Bramlett at IMDb
  15. ^ "". Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  16. ^[permanent dead link].
  17. ^ Allmusic discography
  18. ^

External links[edit]