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Brook Benton / A Rainy Night In Georgia

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Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010

1959 album Brook Benton at His Best

Composed By Tony Joe White

Songwriter Donnie Fritts told Atlantic Records staff producer Jerry Wexler about "Rainy Night in Georgia." Wexler was looking for material for new Atlantic signer Brook Benton, who would be issued on the label's Cotillion imprint. The song had been written by Louisiana swamp rock singer Tony Joe White, who scored a number eight pop hit with "Polk Salad Annie." White came up with the melancholy ballad while working on his first job out of high school, driving a dump truck for the state highway department in Mariatta, GA. After a heavy rainstorm, White wouldn't have to work the following day, leaving him some time to play his guitar. The session for the song was held at Miami's Criteria Studios where another Atlantic artist, Aretha Franklin, had recorded some of her hits, including "Call Me." On hand were guitarist Cornell Dupree, harmonica player Toots Thielmans, organist Billy Carter, bassist Harold Cowart, drummer Tubby Ziegler, and pianist Dave Crawford. Produced by arranger Arif Mardin, "Rainy Night in Georgia" went to number one R&B and number four pop in the spring of 1970. White and Benton performed the song in 1988 for a Nashville television show.

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