Oscar Benton (born Ferdinand van Eif on February 3, 1949) is a Dutch vocalist and the founder of the Oscar Benton Blues Band in 1967. The band rose to fame in 1968 by being a runner up in the Jazz Festival, Loosdrecht, Holland. In his solo career, Oscar Benton released with his 1981 homonymous album the Bensonhurst Blues, written by Artie Kaplan & Artie Kornfeld, and produced by the EMI Records. The Bensonhurst Blues, which is considered to be Oscar Benton's best hit, was part of the soundtrack of the 1999 movie La Bûche. Earlier it was on the soundtrack of the film Pour la Peau d'un Flic, 1.979, which features Alain Delon. The earliest version of that song is that of Artie Kaplan in his 1973 album Confessions Of A Male Chauvinist Pig produced by the Hopi Records. The Italian singer Adriano Celentano, in his 2004 album C'é Sempre un Motivo, included an Italian version, named Vengo del Jazz. A famous Romanian singer, Margareta Paslaru, sings it in Romanian under the title Spuneam Ca Nu-Mi Passa (Bui Bui Bui). The Romanian singer Aurelian Andreescu also recorded a Romanian language version of this song titled Îndrăgostitul. The song became the musical theme of the TV show Crazy Horse in the early 2000s.
In 1968, the Oscar Benton Blues Band released its first album, Feel so good. In 1969, they released the album The blues is gonna wreck my life. In 1971, they released Benton ‘71. In 1974, the band changed members and also the name by becoming Blue Eyed Baby. Oscar Benton himself changed his stage name to Billy Boy Bishop. The Blue Eyed Baby released the LP Blue Eyed Baby.. Oscar Benton began his solo career in 1981 Oscar Benton with the album Bensonhurst Blues which brought him to prominence in the world of blues. Dans les années 2000 une partie du spectacle du Crazy Horse « Lay laser lay », se déroule sur sa reprise de Bensonhurst Blues. In 2011, Oscar Benton released his CD album, Oscar Benton is Still Alive.
Needless to add here, none of the other versions of the Bensonhurst Blues manages to catch up with Oscar Benton's 1979 version. Oscar Benton is a unfairly underrated singer. Indeed, he's a poetic vocalist who can be compared to the bard tradition of George Brassens, Charles Aznavour, and Enrico Macias.
*You can also see ‘Oscar Benton Blues Band’ on Last.fm here: Oscar Benton Blues Band