Tune in weekday mornings for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of “Listen Here.” Rodney Franks presents Stories of Standards Monday through Friday at 7:50 and 8:50 a.m.!

Stories of Standards is sponsored by ListenUp.

“Listen Here” was written by Eddie Harris and first released as a single in August 1966, and went to #11 on the R&B charts and #45 on the Hot 100. Initially the lead track on 1967’s album “The Electrifying Eddie Harris”, “Listen Here” has been popular with both musicians and fans ever since its release.

Eddie Harris (October 20, 1934 – November 5, 1996) was born and raised in Chicago by a father from Cuba and mother from New Orleans. He studied with Walter Dyett at DuSable High School, as did Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Gene Ammons and Bo Diddley, among others. After college Harris was drafted into the US Army, where he was a member of the 7th Army Band. After returning to the US from Europe he signed a contract with Vee Jay Records in New York City. His first album “Exodus to Jazz” included his own arrangement of Ernest Gold’s theme for the movie “Exodus”. A shortened version of this reached such commercial success (It was the first jazz record to be certified gold.) that some jazz critics took it as a sign that Harris had “sold out”. He moved to Columbia Records in 1964 and in 1965 to Atlantic Records, which released his album “The In Sound”, which restored his credibility in jazz circles. In 1969, an unrehearsed session with pianist/vocalist Les McCann at the Montreux Jazz Festival was so well received that Atlantic released it as “Swiss Movement”. Harris played piano, vibraphone and tenor saxophone. Lively and inventive, he originated several combination instruments (amongst which were reed trumpet, saxobone, and guitorgan). In the 1960s and 1970s he branched out to rock-jazz and comedy, not all of which was well received. In the early 1980s he performed with Horace Silver’s Quintet and provided much of the music for “The Bill Cosby Show”.

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