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George Benson recounts “criminal” encounter with Beatles


As The Beatles take center stage in the music world this week with the much-anticipated reissue of their albums, it’s easy to forget that the Fab Four were not exactly adored by large swathes of the musical community back in the day. Jazz artists, especially, looked down on the noisy pop stars (or were more likely envious of their fame and fortune). 

george3“It used to be a crime for a jazz musician to even mention the word ‘Beatles,’” jazz guitarist George Benson recalled on Thursday, during a promotion for his new album at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles. 

“There was such a divide between rock music and jazz music … We just didn’t discuss anything like that.”

There were some notable crossover efforts, including Ella Fitzgerald with her versions of “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Got To Get You Into My Life.”