Ben then got an invitation to sing at the Apollo theater in Harlem, NY. This is where Ben struck gold, while singing there. One of Paul Simon's (60's group Simon & Garfunkel) talent scouts heard Ben sing and he was fascinated by his golden voice, immediately setting up a private audition for Paul himself. Ben walked into the audition and and sang a Sam Cooke song, 'Change Is Gonna Come,' and instantly got the singing job for Paul Simon. Paul was looking for singers for a new musicial he was producing called 'Capeman.' Ben worked closely with Paul and learned much from him. In a interview, Ben said he cried when he got his first Paul Simon paycheck and he copied it and sent it to his mother. Ben started out as backup singer and then eventually was cast as the lead singer for the project. The music was recored at 'Hit Factory' studio in NYC. Ben also became a favorite at the Apollo theather - Harlem loved him and he continued to be a regular at the Apollo, which was hosted by Sinbad. To this date, Ben has done over 50 concerts at the Apollo. Ben was also becoming very much in demand in the NYC music industry - everybody wanted him.There is a nightclub in Greenwich Village, off Bleeker Street, called Café Wha. It was known for it's history and awesome talents that have passed through it. Many majors acts got their first break there - Bob Dylan, Bill Cosby, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor and many others. The owner, Noam Dworman, asked Ben to join their house band, which played 7 nights a week. Ben accepted and was in the band for years, even while contiuning to work with other acts. Ben met a lot of people at The Wha and had tons of fun. The owners, Manny and Noam Dworman, treated Ben as one of their family members. One of Ben's best friends and stage partner was Ray Romano, star of TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. Ben and Ray were close and encouraged each other as they worked the NYC circuit. Ben struck gold again! Word was out in NYC that there was this fierce, hot singer from the deep woods of Mississippi that was bad to the bone. An A-team brass horn section (The Uptown Horns) heard about this and invited Ben to come join their band. The Horns were top of the line - they were working with many major stars and had a long history in NYC, Ben accepted the invite and was brought in as their top lead singer. Ben did two very successful albums with the Horns. The first one was called 'Third Rail Screamin',' which was produced by music/guitar legend Steve Burgh. Burgh was the guitarist on the Grammy winning Billy Joel album 'The Stranger.' Ben sang the song 'On The Duece,' a song about 42nd St. in NYC. The album was recorded at the famous 'Baby Monster Studio.' Ben and the Horns were a great team. They played many live concerts together - The Bottom Line, Roadhouse Cafe, Tramps Club, Palladium and others. Ben struck gold again with a second album with the Uptown Horns. This album was called 'Uptown Horns Revue.' Ben has two songs on this major CD. This star-studded album project includes performances by Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Peter Wolf (J. Giels Band), Blues great Albert Collins, Suziee Terell (Bruce Springsteen sidekick), Benard Flower (singer with the Rolling Stones) and Mississippi Boy Ben Houston! Ben Houston's two songs are 'Never Goin' Down That Road Again' and 'Odds Are Good The Goods Are Odd.' The CD is still doing very well. With the success of the Horns CD, Ben strikes gold again with a invitation to come bring his band to do a full concert tour of Germany. Ben accepted this, and the Germans were amazed at this rare talent. The tour was amazingly successful, receiving great reviews of his performances and they wanted Ben to come back. Ben promised he would return, but he had another invitation waiting for him in the States. Ben was invited to sing with the Horns at a private party for the President of the United States, at a venue called the Palladium, after the Democratic Convention in NYC. Rock legend Bo-Diddley was also on the bill for that night to perform. The concert was awesome! Ben remembers sneaking and calling his mom and telling her he was about to be escourted on stage by the sercet service... this was a highlight of Ben's career. Ben strikes gold again with a with a surprise invitation to come sing at the White House in 1995. Ben didn't take his full band, he just took his piano player, Richard Thompson, and did a classy Nat 'King' Cole/Frank Sinatra style concert. The White House loved the concert. Ben and Richard had a ball. Soon after, Ben began to scale down his full band, and focus more on the songwriting and vocals of his music. Ben got married briefly, and had a son. He took time off from the music biz and dedicated time with his family. Ben remembered how he and best friend Ray Romano used to always talk about the importance of family. Ben also knew God has always been good to him, and had watched over him even when he didn't realize what God was doing. Ben wanted to give back and help others, taking more time off from the music biz. In Nashville, TN, he started a Foundation and Inner City Ministry called the 23rd Psalm Ministry. The facility is located in the inner city of Nashville and has a cafe for musicians and artists to perform. The foundation also helps runaway teens, has teens and adults literacy classes, takes music to the prisons and to senior citizens homes, visits sick children in hospitals wards and pursues other charitable endeavors. Ben used his experience to facilitate this foundation. After 8 years, the foundation is still going strong... A few years later, Ben's sister, Dee, died suddenly at age 39. This hit Ben hard. When Ben went to her house the after she died, he noticed on her dresser by her bed a cassette tape of a song he had recorded 3 years ago, 'Amazing Grace.' Ben knew this was his calling to start back singing and recording again. Then the chorus got louder, people began to ask Ben to please sing and record again. Then one day, at his mother's home, Ben accidentally ran across a notebook of songs he wrote many years ago and had not recorded. A voice inside told him, 'this is what you are to record,' This set the stage for Ben's newest project - 'Daddy's Song.' When you hear Ben's latest CD 'Daddy's Song,' you will see why people all over the world call Ben Houston a 'rare treasure.'
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