Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett in 1970
July 1, 1939|
Pontotoc, Mississippi, United States
|Died||December 27, 2008
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Labels||Magnolia Gold, Elektra, Atco, Atlantic, Crescendo, Motown, MGM, Columbia, Stax, CBS Various (see 'Discography')|
Delaine Alvin "Delaney" Bramlett (July 1, 1939 - December 27, 2008) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. Bramlett's five-decade career reached peaks in creativity, performance, and fame in partnership with his then-wife, Bonnie Bramlett, in a revolving troupe of professional musicians and rock superstars known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. After a stint in the United States Navy, he moved to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1960s, where he established himself as a singer-songwriter, writing with fellow musicians Joey Cooper, Mac Davis, and Jackie DeShannon.
By 1965, Bramlett was a regular member of the Shindogs, the house band of the television show Shindig!. During this time, he worked with J.J. Cale and Leon Russell and released some unsuccessful solo singles.One of these, "Guess I Must Be Dreamin'", entered the Cashbox "Looking Ahead" survey on May 14, 1967.
In the late 1960s, British guitarist Eric Clapton joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on tour, after which Bramlett produced and co-wrote songs for Clapton's debut solo album, Eric Clapton. Clapton has credited Bramlett for pushing him to sing and teaching him the art of rock vocals. Bramlett produced King Curtis's last album, which produced two hit singles, "Teasin'" and "Lonesome Long Way from Home".
Bramlett taught George Harrison, who was then with the Beatles, to play slide guitar, which resulted in Harrison's hit "My Sweet Lord". Bramlett wrote, recorded, or appeared on stage with many notable performers, including Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix,Janis Joplin, Billy Preston, John Lennon, the Everly Brothers, Spooner Oldham, Steve Cropper and Billy Burnette. Members of the Friends appearing in concert or recording with Bramlett on Friends albums include Clapton, Harrison, Leon Russell, King Curtis, Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Keltner, Bobby Keys, and Gram Parsons.
In 2006, Bramlett was one of the duet artists on the Jerry Lee Lewis album Last Man Standing, singing and playing guitar on "Lost Highway". In 2008, the year of his death, Bramlett released his first CD in six years, A New Kind of Blues.
Bramlett was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame on January 18, 2011.
Delaney was married to Bonnie Bramlett, his co-band leader, and together they had a daughter Bekka Bramlett, who was briefly a member of Fleetwood Mac in the mid 1990s and has had a long career as a vocalist, backing various country and pop artists and releasing several solo albums. Delaney and Bonnie divorced in 1972 and ended their musical partnership as well; though they still occasionally collaborated on one-off performances and projects.
Described in an obituary as a Southern legend, Bramlett died from complications of gall bladder surgery on December 27, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. He was buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.