In 1947, ahbez approached Nat "King" Cole's manager backstage at the Lincoln Theater in Los Angeles and handed him the music for his song, "Nature Boy". Cole began playing the song for live audiences to much acclaim, but needed to track down its author before releasing his recording of it.
Ahbez was discovered living under the Hollywood Sign and became the focus of a media frenzy when Cole's version of "Nature Boy" shot to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and remained there for eight consecutive weeks during the summer of 1948. In early 1948, RKO Radio Pictures paid ahbez $10,000 for the rights to “Nature Boy” to use as the theme song for their film The Boy With Green Hair
and he was credited as the song’s composer on the opening titles of the film.
Ahbez was covered simultaneously in Life
, and Newsweek
magazines. Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan later released versions of the song. Ahbez faced legal action from a Yiddish music composer, Herman Yablokoff, who claimed that the melody to "Nature Boy" came from one of his songs, "Shvayg mayn harts" ("Be Still My Heart"). Ahbez claimed to have "heard the tune in the mist of the California mountains." However, legal proceedings resulted in a payment to Yablokoff of $25,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
Ahbez continued to supply Cole with songs, including "Land of Love (Come My Love and Live with Me)", which was also covered by Doris Day and The Ink Spots. In 1949, he gave Burl Ives the idea to cover Stan Jones' "Ghost Riders In The Sky" after overhearing Jones recording his own version of the song. He worked closely with jazz musician Herb Jeffries, and, in 1954, the pair collaborated on an album, The Singing Prophet
, which included the only recording of ahbez's four-part "Nature Boy Suite". The album was later reissued as Echoes of Eternity
on Jeffries' United National label. In the mid 1950s, he wrote songs for Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, and others, as well as writing some rock-and-roll novelty songs. In 1957, his song "Lonely Island" was recorded by Sam Cooke, becoming the second and final ahbez composition to hit the Top 40.
In 1959, he began recording instrumental music, which combined his signature somber tones with exotic arrangements and (according to the record sleeve) "primitive rhythms". He often performed bongo, flute, and poetry gigs at beat coffeehouses in the Los Angeles area. In 1960, he recorded his only solo LP, Eden's Island,
for Del-Fi Records. This mixed beatnik poetry with exotica arrangements. Ahbez promoted the album through a coast-to-coast walking tour making personal appearances, but it sold poorly.
During the 1960s, ahbez released five singles. Grace Slick's band, the Great Society, recorded a version of "Nature Boy" in 1966 and ahbez was photographed in the studio with Brian Wilson during a session for the Smile
album in early 1967. Later that year, British singer Donovan sought out ahbez in Palm Springs, and the two wanderers shared a reportedly "near-telepathic" conversation. In the 1970s, Big Star's Alex Chilton recorded a version of "Nature Boy" with the photographer William Eggleston on piano. The song was finally released as a bonus track on the 1992 Rykodisc re-release of the album Third/Sister Lovers
His wife Anna (née Annette Jacobson; October 16, 1915 – August 9, 1963) died, aged 47, of leukemia, and his son, Zoma (né Tatha Om Ahbez), drowned in 1971 at age 22. From the late 1980s until his death, he worked closely with Joe Romersa, an engineer/drummer in Los Angeles. The master tapes, photos, and final works of eden ahbez are in Romersa's possession.
He died on March 4, 1995, of injuries sustained in a car accident, at the age of 86. Another album, Echoes from Nature Boy, was released posthumously.
El contenido de este artículo ha sido extraído de la Wikipedia en inglés bajo licencia Creative Commons.