Stand By Me by Nitzan Laufer -
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Stand By Me

  • Joined Oct 2020
  • Published Books 2


About Ben E. King


  • King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28, 1938, in Henderson, North Carolina.

  • In 1958, King joined a doo-wop group called The Five Crowns.

  • Later that year, the Drifters’ manager, George Treadwell, fired the members of the original Drifters and replaced them with the members of the Five Crowns.

  • Ben E. King co-wrote and sang lead on the first Atlantic hit by the new version of the Drifters, “There Goes My Baby”(1959).

  • In May 1960, King left the Drifters assuming the more memorable stage name Ben E. King in preparation for a successful solo career.




  • King scored his first solo hit with the ballad “Spanish Harlem”.

  • His next single, “Stand by Me,” written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, ultimately would be voted as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.

  • “Stand by Me,” “There Goes My Baby,” and “Spanish Harlem” were named as three of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and were all given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, as well as “Save The Last Dance For Me.”




Stand By Me


“Stand by Me” is a song originally performed in 1961 by the American singer-songwriter Ben E.King and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller.


The song appeared on King’s third studio album “Don’t Play That Song!”


According to the documentary History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Ben E. King had no intention of recording the song himself. He had written it for his former group, The Drifters, who passed on recording it.

Stand By Me by Nitzan Laufer -

I remember arriving at our office as Jerry and Ben were working on lyrics for a new song. King had the beginnings of a melody that he was singing a cappella. I went to the piano and worked up the harmonies, developing a bass pattern that became the signature of the song. Ben and Jerry quickly finished the lyrics“.

Mike Stoller




The song uses a version of the common chord progression, now called the 50s progression, which has been called the “‘Stand by Me’ changes” after the song.



According to King, the title was inspired by a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and JW Alexander called ‘Stand by Me Father’, recorded by the Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor singing lead vocals.


‘Stand By Me’ was also the name of a gospel hymn written by Philadelphia minister Charles Albert Tindley in 1905.






[Verse 1]
When the night has come and the land is dark

And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me


So darlin’, darlin’, stand by me
Oh, stand by me

Oh, stand
Stand by me, stand by me

[Verse 2]

If the sky that we look upon

Should tumble and fall

Or the mountains should crumble to the sea

I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Woah, stand now
Stand by me, stand by me



Darlin’, darlin’, stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Oh, stand now
Stand by me, stand by me


Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me
Oh, stand by me

Woah, just stand now

Oh, stand, stand by my


Stand By Me – Movie


Stand by Me is a 1986 American film directed by Rob Reiner, starring River Phoenix, and based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella “The Body”, with a title derived from Ben E. King’s song.


In the movie, four boys in 1959 Castle Rock, Oregon, go on a hike to find the dead body of a missing boy.


This song signified the friendship of the young boys in the film.


The movie was a hit and took the song back to the charts.




On The Radio


According to BMI, ‘Stand By Me’ was the fourth most-played track of the 20th century on American radio and TV.


Smooth Radio in February 2019 called it “one of the best love songs of the 1960s”.


T.V And Commercials 

It was clear that the song will be an all-time favorite when it reached number one in the UK in 1987. This was mainly due to its use in the movie of the same name, as well as Levi’s jeans advert at the time.


The Perfect Wedding Song


‘Stand By Me’ has been a wedding favorite for decades, but none more notable than the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018. Before exchanging their vows in Windsor Castle, Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed a gospel version of the song.




The song has been covered at least 400 times ever since its original release!


These include John Lennon, Otis Redding, “U2”, Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Lady Gaga, Sting, Tracy Chapman, Seal, Jon Bon Jovi, Florence & the Machine and Jimmy Hendrix, Maurice White, 4 the Cause, and Skyler Grey.



















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