Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett in 1970
|Born||July 1, 1939|
Pontotoc, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||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')|
|Associated acts||Bonnie Bramlett, Rita Coolidge, Eric Clapton|
Delaine Alvin "Delaney" Bramlett (July 1, 1939 – December 27, 2008) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. Bramlett is best known for his musical partnership with his then-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.
Life and career
Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. He began playing guitar when he was eight years old, but didn't get serious about playing 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. He was in the Navy for two and half to three years before being discharged. He spent half his tour at Naval Station Great Lakes, where he took boot camp.
After his stint in the Navy, he moved to Los Angeles, California in the early 1960s, where he worked as a bartender before he started performing in bars. He was performing at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood when he was asked to appear in a pilot for a new television show, Shindig!. By 1965, Bramlett was a regular member of the Shindogs, the house band of the television show Shindig!. He established himself as a singer-songwriter, writing with fellow musicians Joey Cooper, Mac Davis, and Jackie DeShannon. 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. His debut single "Guess I Must be Dreamin" was produced by Leon Russell. It 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.
Their album Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton (1970) reached #29 on the Billboard 200. Between 1970 and 1972, the duo had seven songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including their best-known single "Never Ending Song of Love" which peaked at #13 and a cover of Dave Mason's "Only You Know and I Know" which peaked at #20. Delaney & Bonnie ended their professional and personal relationship in 1972.
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.
Described in an obituary as a "Southern Legend", Bramletts' 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. Bramlett co-wrote Clapton's hit song "Let It Rain."
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. Their marriage was marred by violence due to their cocaine addictions. They divorced in 1972, ending their musical partnership as well.
Delaney died from complications of gall bladder surgery at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles on December 27, 2008. Delaney is survived by his widow, Susan Lanier-Bramlett, a brother, John Wayne Bramlett, three daughters, Michele Bramlett, Suzanne Bramlett, Bekka Bramlett, and two grandchildren. 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") 
- Hopkins, Jerry (May 31, 1969). "Interview: Delaney & Bonnie". Rolling Stone.
- Obituary: Delaney Bramlett; Songwriter Who Wrote 'Let It Rain'. Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2008.
- "First Disk Bowed By Indep'dence" (PDF). Billboard: 16. April 8, 1967.
- 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
- "Delaney & Bonnie Chart History". Billboard.
- Harris, Cassi (March 14, 1993). "NEW START". Chicago Tribune.
- PBS 106.7FM: Real Radio – Jerry Lee Lewis' "Last Man Standing" Archived 2008-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, pbsfm.org.au; accessed August 18, 2014.
- Delaney Bramlett: "A New Kind of Blues". CD Baby.
- Delaney Bramlett: The Death of a Southern Legend, swampland.com, 27 December 2008.
- Delaney Bramlett on IMDb
- "Repertoire.bmi.com". Archived from the original on 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- Theventuremagazine.com[permanent dead link].
- Obituary: Delaney Bramlett; songwriter who wrote 'Let It Rain', Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2008.
- Allmusic discography