Breezin' - George Benson

Breezin' - George Benson

Breezin’ is an instrumental song, released in 1976 from George Benson’s album of the same name. George is an American jazz musician who has won multiple Grammy Awards. He has been making music professionally since the 1960s.

For years, and I mean many, many years, I had this song in my head.  I played the main melody over and over again in my mind, wondering where it was from or what it was called. It always totally reminded me of a 70s game show or something like that.  I assumed it was just a snippet of music, not a full song, and that I would never find out what it was.

Until summer 2017.  I was sitting at Starbucks doing some work, with some chill music playing in my headphones, and then all of a sudden I could hear the song playing in the background.  It was like my subconscious was telling me, ‘hey, this is the song you’ve had in here for years’.  So of course I whipped off my headphones and quickly brought up Shazam, not knowing if it would have any idea of what it was, or even if it was the version I had always been thinking of.

Well, it found a match, so I added it to my Apple Music library and gave it a listen.  Yep, it was the one.  I couldn’t believe it!

Listening to the song now, it definitely has a 70s vibe to it, but it’s also timeless. When you hear the flutes in the beginning, you’re kind of like ‘what is this, some sort of classical music piece?’.  Then at 19 seconds it kicks in and you’re just transported to a sunny vacation.

His guitar work obviously stands out, but it’s complemented with many other instruments.  The flutes, as mentioned above, the tight percussion, and the beautiful orchestral strings.  They kind of remind me of another song that brings me back to my childhood, the theme from A Summer Place.

In reading more about the song after discovering it, I found out a couple of interesting things:

I didn’t realize that it was originally recorded by Gábor Szabó and that the song was written by Bobby Womack.  This version has a different feel to it, definitely lighter, not as funky.  You can read more of the history of the song here.

The other thing is that I found out why I had the song in my head from my childhood.  Turns out that it was the theme song to the Joyce Davidson Show, an afternoon talk show in Toronto.  I used to come home from school for lunch break, and I guess I heard it often enough that it stuck for all those years.

You probably aren’t surprised to know that the song has been sampled many times, so you may have heard it in other places as well.

I am so thankful that I happened to be sitting underneath that speaker at Starbucks that night. Being able to listen to the song now really reminds me of my parents and my childhood home. And hey, it’s winter now, music is one way to think of warmer times and summer breezes.