We’re big fans of Delaney Bramlett here at HorizonVU Music and we do our best to keep you in the know as to what’s goin’ on as we join with Michele, Suzanne and Bekka to get their Dad into the Rock and Roll HOF! Here’s the text of Michele’s acceptance letter for Delaney’s induction into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Bekka accepted the award.
I am deeply honored with your nomination and induction of my Dad, Delaney Bramlett. This award means so much to our family. It truly is the recognition of my Dads’ artistic vision and musical achievements and you can only imagine how important it is to me, his daughter…
Dad created some of the most distinctive and unique music in the world and everybody wanted to play with him. He was a prolific songwriter, a storyteller, an amazing musician, a teacher, a mentor to so many.
He gave people their “wings”…and now, YOU, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, are giving him his.
Fly Dad…it’s YOUR turn!
We (my sisters and I) grew up in a world of beautiful chaos. Whether it be ‘round the kitchen table, on the front porch, or through our bedroom walls, Dads’ music filled our hearts.
He was a great man. I close my eyes and I see Dad. I see his purdy face. I see him standing here, humbly accepting this award. I feel his gratitude. I feel his nervousness. I feel his love and his big beautiful smile, lighting up the room.
Yayyyyyyy, Dad! We are clappin’….real loud and hard!
We are so very proud of you, Dad….SO proud to be “your girls”…We miss you sooooooooo much, Dad.
As my sisters and I proudly accept this award on behalf of our Dad, we want to express our love and gratitude to his fans.
We thank you, Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, from the bottom of our big ‘ol Bramlett hearts…
Thank you, Mr. Brewer, hall of fame inductees, nominating committee, and everybody else who made this dream a reality.
Delaney Bramlett is being inducted into the MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS HALL OF FAME! January 18, 2011… Michele, Suzanne and Bekka have just been informed and Bekka will be accepting the award for her Dad. Michele and Suzanne will be there in spirit and their written acceptance letters in honor of Delaney will be read! Thank you Mr. Brewer and Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame!
“Just Paint What Your Dad Loved” were the words of Michael Allman as we discussed the cover art for his CD “To Delaney & Bonnie From The Friends of the Poor Elijah Foundation”. The figure in the top right corner is honoring Michael Allman and his dedication to the movement of PEF and the induction of D&B and Friends into the RRHOF. Michael, with F Tom Skinner, and ”Friends of Poor Elijah” did an amazing job and the Bramlett family is so proud. You rocked it. Thank you.
Dad loved horses and he loved to ride. He loved our “Rock and Roll Ranch”. He loved being home. My Dad was a brilliant composer and loved and rocked the most soulful horn sections. He heard music in his head all the time.
The guitar is a given…I can’t even imagine Dad without his guitar close by. He loved, and was influenced by, Robert Johnson. Dad said, “He was a good friend of mine ‘long time ‘fore I was born”. He loved his front porch. Swinging and singing and sitting on his chair and playin guitar and talking and telling storiesandlooking at his rosesI painted the corner of the album “The Original Delaney & Bonnie and Friends- Accept No Substitute” to honor the Magic.
The figure in the top left corner is from an image Jaesen created. My Dad loved to fly in his dreams. This symbolism was created during the first works of the Elijah Series. It represents Dads hand and who he touched directly. Those he taught, mentored, inspired, and loved.The back cover is an image of an empty greyhound tour bus by Jaesen Kanter. Can you imagine the stories on that bus?
Michele Bramlett is Executive Director of the Poor Elijah Foundation Poor Elijah Foundation. HorizonVU Music is an active supporter of PEF. Check out the site at PEF by clicking on the link found along with Artists and Friends of HVUM. Purchase downloads of the Michael Allman CD “To Delaney & Bonnie From The Friends of the Poor Elijah Foundation” through SHOP HorizonVU Music http://blog.horizonvumusic.com/?page_id=2305
We do believe that Delaney Bramlett deserves induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and as we have had more contact with the Bramlett family and friends, we have become supporters of the Poor Elijah Foundation (PEF). You’ll find the link under HorizonVU Music’s Partners and Friends on this page.
The Poor Elijah Foundation was created by Michele Bramlett (eldest daughter of Delaney Bramlett) along with her sisters and friends Maria Angel Schaefer, Lisa Marvin and Jaesen Kanter. Specifically the foundation works to “educate” the musician in the entertainment industry and provide financial assistance to working musicians who would otherwise slip through the cracks of the business. The long and short term plan is to raise monies through the production and promotion of charitable musical events, art exhibits, DVDs, CDs, and any other such fund-raising that are permitted under the povisions of the Foundation’s non-profit status. Once all corporation costs are met; the remaining monies raised will go directly to the education/mentoring of and or assisting the musicians with financial relief.
Music legends Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett created some of the most distinctive and unique music of the early ’70s. Together their dynamic energy attracted Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Duane Allman, Billy Preston, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Mason, Leon Russell, Gerry McGee, Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, Rita Coolidge, Tina Turner and so many more.
Delaney produced an assortment of artists such as Etta James ,Dorothy Morrison (on “Happy Day”) and wrote for and produced Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, Bobby Whitlock and The Staple Singers.He did the late great King Curtis’s last LP and taught Curtis how to sing, out of which two hits came, “Teasin” and “ Lonesome Long Way From Home”. King Curtis kept a room at Delaney’s and they spent hour after hour playing and recording together.
Bonnie was born sing. A fact not lost on those around her. She began singing at the tender age of 14 with Ike and Tina Turner. Bonnie remains the ONLY white Ike-ette. She also sang with The Allman Brothers Band, and is the ONLY Allman Sister.
Please join us in our support of the Poor Elijah Foundation. Plenty more news to follow!
Every once in a while a special cause comes to our attention that really resonates with one or more of us and we decide to try and help. To get straight to the point, we believe that Delaney Bramlett deserves induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you are already aware of the musical legacy of Delaney Bramlett and you support the cause take action. Just go to http://www.inductdelaneyandbonnie.com/d&binductionletter.pdf. You’ll find a copy of the letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Nominating Committee. Please print it, fill it out, mail it and know you have done a really great thing!
Why is HVUM getting involved? Delaney and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends just has special meaning to me and other members of our team. There are just some performers that leave a mark on your life – bring back memories that have really stuck with you. Delaney Bramlett is just part of my life story and love of music. I first came across Delaney & Bonnie and Friends by way of the album “On Tour with Eric Clapton” (June, 1970) - I remember that hearing “Poor Elija” for the first time and having that “wow, man, far out” reaction – that kind of captures the time and place. Anyway, my next growth experience came when Clapton released his debut solo album “Eric Clapton” in (August, 1970) – favorite tracks”Lonesome and a Long Way from Home” (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell),”Told You For the Last Time” (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Steve Cropper) and “Let It Rain” (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Eric Clapton).
Delaney Bramlett learned the guitar in his youth, and migrated to Los Angeles in 1959. He became a session musician; his most notable early work was as a member of the Shindogs, the house band for the ABC-TV series Shindig! (1964-66), which also featured guitarist/keyboardist Leon Russell. Bonnie Bramlett was an accomplished singer at an early age, performing with blues guitarist Albert King at age 14 and in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at 15 – the first-ever white Ikette “for three days in a black wig and Man Tan skin darkener.” She moved to Los Angeles in 1967, and met and married Delaney later that year. Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell had many connections in the music business through their work in the Shindogs, and were able to quickly form a band of solid, if transient, musicians around Delaney and Bonnie. The band became known as “Delaney & Bonnie and Friends” due to its regular changes of personnel. They secured a recording contract with Stax Records, and completed work on their first album, Home, in early 1969. Despite production and session assistance from Donald “Duck” Dunn, Isaac Hayes, and other Stax mainstays of the era, the album was not successful – perhaps due to poor promotion, as it was one of 27 albums simultaneously released by Stax in that label’s initial attempt to establish itself in the album market.
Delaney and Bonnie moved to Elektra Records for their second album, Accept No Substitute (1969). While not a big seller either, Accept No Substitute created a buzz in music industry circles when, upon hearing pre-release mixes of the album, George Harrison offered Delaney and Bonnie a contract with the Beatles’ Apple Records label – which Delaney and Bonnie signed despite their prior contractual commitment to Elektra. Although the Apple contract was subsequently voided, this incident began a falling-out between Delaney and Elektra, culminating in the band’s release from their Elektra contract in late 1969.On the strength of Accept No Substitute, and at his friend Harrison’s suggestion, Eric Clapton took Delaney & Bonnie and Friends on the road in mid-1969 as the opening act for his band Blind Faith. Clapton became fast friends with Delaney, Bonnie and their band, preferring their music to Blind Faith’s; he would often appear on stage with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during this period, and continued to record and tour with them following Blind Faith’s August 1969 breakup. Clapton helped broker a new record deal for Delaney and Bonnie with his then-US label, Atco (Atlantic) Records, and appears (with Harrison, Dave Mason, and others) on Delaney and Bonnie’s third album, the live On Tour with Eric Clapton (Atco; recorded in the UK 7 December 1969, released June 1970). This album would be their most successful, reaching #29 on the Billboard album charts and achieving RIAA Gold Record status. Clapton also recruited Delaney and Bonnie and their band to back him on his debut solo album, recorded in late 1969/early 1970 and produced by Delaney. Delaney and Bonnie continued to make well-regarded, if modestly-selling, albums over the rest of their career.
Their next two Atco albums, To Bonnie from Delaney (1970) and the largely-acoustic Motel Shot (1971) charted, and “Never Ending Song of Love,” a single taken from Motel Shot, was Billboard’s #67 single of 1971. The band’s other notable activities during this period include participation (with the Grateful Dead, the Band and Janis Joplin) on the 1970 Festival Express tour of Canada, with an appearance at the Strawberry Fields Festival; an appearance in Richard C. Sarafian’s 1971 film Vanishing Point, contributing the song “You Got to Believe” to its soundtrack; and a July 1971 live show broadcast by New York’s WABC-FM (now WPLJ), backed by Duane Allman, Gregg Allman and (in one of his last performances) King Curtis. (Recordings of this broadcast, while never officially released on album as Elton John’s 11-17-70 show from the same concert series was, have been heavily bootlegged over the years and remain readily available.) By late 1971, however, Delaney and Bonnie’s often-tempestuous relationship began to show signs of strain. Their next album Country Life was rejected by Atco on grounds of poor quality, with Atco/Atlantic electing to sell Delaney and Bonnie’s recording contract – including this album’s master tapes – to CBS as a result. Columbia/CBS released this album, in a different track sequence from that submitted to Atco, as D&B Together in March 1972. It would be Delaney and Bonnie’s last album of new material, as the couple divorced in 1973.
On Tour was their best-selling album by far, and is the only official document of their live work. Delaney and Bonnie were considered by many to be at their best on stage. In his autobiography, Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler stated that the studio album he produced for the band, To Bonnie from Delaney, “didn’t quite catch the fire of their live performances.” Clapton makes an even stronger statement in his autobiography: “For me, going on [with Blind Faith] after Delaney and Bonnie was really, really tough, because I thought they were miles better than us.” Motel Shot, although technically a studio album, was largely recorded “live in the studio” with acoustic instruments – a rarity for rock bands at the time, foreshadowing the “Unplugged” phenomenon by nearly twenty years.
Besides their recorded legacy, Delaney and Bonnie influenced many fellow musicians of their era. Most notably, Eric Clapton has said that “Delaney taught me everything I know about singing,” and Delaney has been cited as the person who taught George Harrison how to play slide guitar, a technique Harrison used to great effect throughout his solo recording career. Bonnie, for her part, is credited as the co-author of many popular songs, including “Groupie (Superstar)” (a Top 10 hit for The Carpenters in 1971; also covered by ex-Delaney and Bonnie backing vocalist Rita Coolidge, Bette Midler, Sonic Youth and many others) and Clapton’s “Let It Rain.” (Bonnie’s song authorship became a matter of dispute in the last years of Delaney’s life, with Delaney claiming that he wrote many of these songs but assigned ownership to Bonnie to dodge an onerous publishing contract – an assertion supported, indirectly, through statements made by Clapton. Many songs that Bonnie Bramlett contributed to during the band’s tenure, but for which Delaney Bramlett was not originally credited, now list both Bramletts as co-authors in BMI’s Repertoire database).
Delaney and Bonnie’s “friends” of the band’s 1969-70 heyday also had considerable impact. After the early 1970 breakup of this version of the band, Leon Russell recruited many of its ex-members to join Joe Cocker’s band, participating on Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen recording sessions and North American tour (March-May 1970; Rita Coolidge’s version of “Groupie (Superstar)” was recorded with this band while on tour). Following this, these same musicians, joined by Eric Clapton and Dave Mason, also comprised the core backing band on George Harrison’s vocal debut album All Things Must Pass (1970). Clapton subsequently recorded his landmark album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) with this band’s bassist Carl Radle, singer/keyboardist Bobby Whitlock and drummer Jim Gordon, as Derek and the Dominos.
Delaney’s most recent solo album, A New Kind of Blues, was released in early 2008. On December 27, 2008 at 4:55 a.m., Bramlett died from complications of surgery.He is survived by his three daughters, Suzanne, Michele, and Bekka Bramlett. You can read more about Delaney and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends at http://www.inductdelaneyandbonnie.com . All of us at HVUM stand with the Bramlett family and friends in supporting this cause and we ask you to join us.