"Spanish Harlem" is a song originally by Ben E. King for the label Atco Records, in the year 1960.
Jerry Leiber wrote and produced the song, aided by Phil Spector and Mike Stoller. The key instrumental was written by Stoller, the piano accompaniment being the base for adding the guitar play by Spector and with Leiber as the vocalist.
Ben E. King was part of the group The Drifters, but chose to purchase a solo career and "Spanish Harlem" became his first success, incorporating an innovative arrangement, created by Stan Applebaum.
The arrangement included a Spanish guitar, a marimba and drum-beats.
King’s version of "Spanish Harlem" rose up to the 15th place on the R&B charts and even got to the tenth place on the Pop charts. Throughout the years, "Spanish Harlem" has been covered by names such as Jay and the Americans, Andy Williams, Laura Nyro, Long John Baldry, Slim Smith, Kenny Rankin, Leon Russell, The Cats, Percy Faith, Rebecca Pidgeon, Tom Jones, Jimmy Justice and Billy Joe Royal.
The best cover however was Aretha Franklin’s, the American R&B singer releasing her version in 1971, making "Spanish Harlem" a number one hit on the R&B charts and even seconded the Pop charts, surpassing the initial version. Her cover even got her to get Gold certification and even reached sixth place on the Billboard Easy Listening charts. Aretha’s version has modified only a single verse from the original version.
"Spanish Harlem" is a song made famous by Aretha Franklin and now, the piano sheets for it are available for free just down below. Enjoy and download them. Stay tuned for more material to come.