The Ben Vaughn Quintet US
Ben Vaughn grew up in Philadelphia on the New Jersey side of the river. At age six, his uncle gave him a Duane Eddy record and forever changed his life. In 1983, he formed the Ben Vaughn Combo. The band was together five years, releasing two albums and touring the U.S. several times. They received rave reviews in Rolling Stone and People magazine and video airplay on MTV. The attention inspired Marshall Crenshaw to record a version of Ben's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" for his Downtown album.
Vaughn embarked on a solo career in 1988, recording several critically acclaimed albums, touring extensively in Europe and the U.S. and receiving more MTV exposure. During that period he produced three records for the Elektra Records American Explorer series (Memphis rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers, Muscle Shoals country soul singer Arthur Alexander), and recorded Cubist Blues, a collaboration with Alan Vega and Alex Chilton.
He also scored two films (Favorite Mopar and Wild Girl's Go-Go Rama), as well as appearing as a frequent guest commentator on nationally syndicated radio shows Fresh Air and World Cafe. In 1995, Vaughn moved to L.A. and released Instrumental Stylings, an album of instrumentals in a variety of styles. A guest appearance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic led directly to being hired as the theme music composer for the hit TV sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. That 70s Show soon followed, and for the next ten years Ben would provide award-winning music for a dozen other TV shows and pilots (including Men Behaving Badly, Normal, Ohio, and Grounded for Life). He also provided scores for several films (Psycho Beach Party, The Independent, Scorpion Spring) and continued producing records (Ween, Los Straitjackets, Mark Olson of The Jayhawks, Nancy Sinatra, and the soundtrack CD of the film Swingers). Somehow Vaughn found time to create the legendary Rambler '65. Recorded entirely in his car, this much-publicized album (and subsequent short film) is still considered by many to be a classic document of a man and his dream.
Since then, Vaughn has released Designs In Music, Vaughn Sings Vaughn (volumes 1, 2, and 3), Texas Road Trip (recorded in Austin, Texas with Doug Sahm’s band), and Five By Five and Piece De Resistance by the Ben Vaughn Quintet. Other career highlights include an Italian dance hit (a DJ re-mix of “Hey Romeo”), airplay of “Jerry Lewis in France” on Bob Dylan’s radio show (complete with Dylan’s recitation of Ben’s resume), and two recent tours in France. In 2015 the Philadelphia Museum of Art hired Ben as musical curator for the acclaimed International Pop exhibit.
Occasionally, Vaughn takes a break from his syndicated radio show (The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn) to perform live in the US and Europe. He currently spends most of his time in the Mojave Desert of California.