am i dying?
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music friday: delaney & bonnie, “never ending song of love”

Recently, I tried to put together a playlist that combined a group of musicians from the late-60s/early-70s who showed up on each other’s albums. Not sure what got me started on this, but I was thinking of people like Leon Russell, Derek and the Dominos, Dave Mason. I quickly realized that what I was latching onto was the extended universe of Delaney & Bonnie.

As an example of this, take their album Motel Shot, from which “Never Ending Song of Love” comes. Among the people on that album: Duane Allman, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker, Jim Keltner, Bobby Keys, Dave Mason, Gram Parsons, Carl Radle, Leon Russell, Clarence White, and Bobby Whitlock. Missing was Eric Clapton, but he’d already been accounted for … one of their earlier albums was called On Tour with Eric Clapton. (Besides Clapton, that album also featured George Harrison, Jim Gordon, Jim Price, and Rita Coolidge.)

These people were everywhere for a few years, most notably on Layla. Delaney & Bonnie were never big stars on their own … On Tour was their best chart performer, hitting #29. Motel Shot made #65, and “Never Ending Song of Love” was their top-charting single, at #13.

The stories are told about Delaney & Bonnie’s rough relationship (they divorced in 1973 after six years of marriage), which I suppose adds a layer of irony to the fact that “Never Ending Song of Love” was their biggest hit.

Here’s Bonnie and friends, singing in the backyard:

Bonnie was the first-ever white Ikette, and in later years, she spent some time on the sitcom Roseanne:



Never even heard of them! Thanks! I'm listening to them now on MOG.

Steven Rubio

That's great! When I was writing this, I wondered if they had slipped beneath most people's radar today. Unsung in their day, by everyone except the musicians who played with them, Clapton more than anyone ... he felt revitalized playing with them after Cream and Blind Faith, and then "borrowed" their backup band for Derek and the Dominos.

Steven Rubio

I keep thinking of stuff I should have included in the post, for folks who didn't know these people. In the "backyard" video (not Roseanne), that's Bekka Bramlett next to her mom, Bonnie. While at the time, people wanted to believe "Never Ending Song of Love" was a paean to the continuing love of two adults, it was apparently written for Delaney and Bonnie's kids. D&B got divorced, but seeing Bekka and Bonnie sing it here has its own preciousness. And the keyboard player is a legend in his own right, Spooner Oldham, who made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago.


It's funny. I started the day listening to The Band. This is moving along in a family way...


I regularly play Delaney & Bonnie on my radio show in Portsmouth NH


What??? Never heard of DB & F? Sigh, I guess that's to be expected since it was 1970 when I first heard them during my segue from Top 40 Pop AM radio over to the first heavy AOR FM station in South Central AL. Thank God for local Army bases whose resident GIs contributed drugs & great rock 'n roll to our area, lol.


I forgot to ask if anyone's ever heard who was hollering out the background vocals in the song? It would be like Bobby Whitlock to do that as he regularly added background vocals to DB & F in addition to Derek and the Dominoes, not to mention playing/singing on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. Of course there were so many artists playing it could have been anyone, except Eric Clapton, who only started doing vocals later after the urging & coaching by Delaney.


Sooo sorry but I wrote the website for the Delaney interviews incorrectly, it's supposed to be Apologize for multiple posts.

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