1960 Brook Benton – Fools Rush In
Benjamin Franklin Peay grew up singing gospel music under the direction of his local church choir director – his father. He sang in several groups in South Carolina and New York City that did not break through into sales. He joined a group called the Sandmen, and they recorded some music in NYC for Okeh Records. Again, sales did not follow, and the record label insisted on Benjamin continuing with them as a solo act. They also changed his name to Brook Benton.
Brook moved to Mercury Records and initially made a living by writing songs and producing records for other artists. His earliest success came when Clyde McPhatter recorded the top ten single A Lover’s Question in 1958, a song Brook co-wrote with Jimmy Williams. The next year, Brook finally had hits of his own. He co-wrote and recorded the song It’s Just A Matter Of Time. The single topped the R&B chart and reached #3 on the Hot 100. He followed that with another song he co-wrote, Endlessly, and that single hit the top ten on the R&B chart and reached #12 on the Hot 100.
In 1960, Brook recorded two duets with Dinah Washington that both reached the top ten on the Hot 100. He co-wrote Kiddio, and that single topped the R&B chart and reached the top-ten on the Hot 100.
In 1940, Rube Bloom composed the music and Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics for Fools Rush In. A few artists rushed into recording studios and produced successful singles for the song:
- The Glenn Miller Orchestra’s version hit #3 on the pop chart.
- Tony Martin’s single peaked at #16.
- The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra recorded the song with their young new singer (Frank Sinatra) and reached #17.
Brook recorded his version of the old song and his single reached #24 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the R&B chart. Ricky Nelson sang the song on The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet in 1963, and his single peaked at #12.
The next year Brook had the biggest hit of his career with The Boll Weevil Song.
Brook recorded at least fifty singles that charted in the US, including at least two dozen top forty hits. His last big hit came in 1970 when he recorded Rainy Night In Georgia, a song written by Tony Joe White (who had his biggest hit with Polk Salad Annie).
Brook died at the age of only 56 in 1988.
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