July 1st in African American History – Renaldo “Obie” Benson

Renaldo “Obie” BensonJuly 1, 2005 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, member of the Four Tops, died.

Benson was born June 14, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1954, Benson and three friends formed a singing group called the Four Aims. Two years later, they changed their name to the Four Tops and signed with Motown Records. By the end of the decade, they had over a dozen hits, including “It’s The Same Old Song” (1965), “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” (1965), “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (1966), “Standing in the Shadow of Love” (1966), and “Bernadette” (1967).

Benson also co-wrote “What’s Going On” which was a hit for Marvin Gaye in 1971 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a recording of “qualitative or historical significance.” The Four Tops have sold over 50 million records worldwide and in 1990 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1999, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.


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