Delaney Bramlett grew up in Mississippi and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career in 1959. He became the rhythm guitar player in the Shindig house band from 1964 to 1966. He became friends with a keyboard player in the band – Leon Russell.
Bonnie O’Farrell was born in Illinois near St. Louis. She began singing in clubs at the age of 15 and briefly sang with Ike and Tina Turner, making her the first white Ikette. She moved to California to escape an unfortunate family situation and met Delaney in 1967 and they were married a week later.
Delaney and Bonnie recruited many of the musicians they had played with and recorded their first album. The album was named Home and the band was billed as Delany and Bonnie and Friends. Some of the friends included Leon Russell, Booker T., Isaac Hayes, and Carl Radle.
Their second album added new friends, including Rita Coolidge and Jim Keltner. Eric Clapton was impressed by their second album and recruited the band as the warm-up act for the 1969 Blind Faith tour. While on the tour, Bonnie & Delaney recorded a live album with some help from the usual suspects as well as Eric, George Harrison, and Dave Mason.
Their fifth album got additional support from Duane Allman, John Hartford, and Joe Cocker and finally supplied them with a hit single. Never Ending Song Of Love reached #13 on the Hot 100 in 1971.
Dave Mason recorded his first solo album and released Only You Know And I Know as a single in 1970 but it peaked at only #42. Delaney & Bonnie covered the song and released it as a single in 1971. Their version reached #20 and provided them with their only other top forty record. They did, however, write significant hit records for other artists, including Superstar by the Carpenters and Let It Rain by Eric Clapton.
Cocaine use helped fuel fights between Delaney and Bonnie and led to their divorce in 1972.
The members of the various groups of friends went on to form large parts of first Derek and the Dominoes and later the Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
The Bramlett’s daughter, Bekka, became a successful singer and sang on a huge number of recordings. She was also a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1993-1995 and sang lead and backup vocals on songs on their Time album.
Lots more oldies are in my books that are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited):