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1960s / Ben E King Stand By Me
In 1960, a singer named Ben Nelson left the Drifters after failing to gain a salary increase and what he felt to be a fairer share of the group's royalties. He then assumed the more memorable stage name Ben E. King in preparation for a solo career. Remaining on Atlantic Records, King scored his first solo hit with the stylish, Latin-tinged ballad "Spanish Harlem" (1961). "Stand by Me" was his next recording. Written by King along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, "Stand by Me" was voted one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. "Stand by Me" and "Spanish Harlem" were named as two of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and were both also given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 1986, Stand By Me was re-issued following its use as the theme music to the movie of the same name. This video was made in the late 80's, with Ben E King and two of the stars of the film, River Phoenix and Will Wheaton.