Benny Mardones
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I am deeply saddened to announce that Benny Mardones, artist and writer of 3x Billboard Charted Record “INTO THE NIGHT”, has died at 73, says long time friend and record producer, Joel Diamond.

Benny died peacefully at his home in Menifee, CA on June 29, 2020 with his loving wife at his side. He died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. In addition to his wife Jane, Benny is survived by his son Michael and sister Louise. Benny was born Ruben Armand Mardones in Cleveland, Ohio on November 9,1946, and his father, Ruben Mardones, Sr., was from Santiago, Chile.

"I have lost my husband and the love of my life. Not a day went by without Benny telling me how much he loved me. When he knew the end was coming and near coma, he would ask me to come close and struggle to sing “I’ve Got You” (click: https://youtu.be/zfJuJcfTLx4). For the last 12 years he would often surprise me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and a note attached saying in Danish “Jeg Elsker Dig” (I Love You)," said Jane.

Benny was raised in Savage, Maryland and later moved to Syracuse, NY, where he became their “Hometown Hero”. He then moved to Woodstock, NY, and most recently for the past 20 years has resided in Southern California. Benny joined the Navy right after high school and fought in the Vietnam War.

Benny Mardones is a name you might not be familiar with, but as soon as you hear the first “signature” chords (click: https://youtu.be/m20bgdHdNk8) of "Into The Night", you will instantly know the song and the artist. He exploded onto the music scene in 1980 and was quickly nicknamed "The Voice," a title earned because of his incredible range as well as his soulful and passionate performances. "Into The Night" has been played over 8 Million times and to this day is still one of the most frequently played rock tunes in America.

Upon hearing the news of Benny's passing, Delilah, radio personality and host of a nightly syndicated show with 8 million listeners, best described Benny: "His voice is like whiskey, smooth but with that edgy bite. But his heart is like a hug from your dearest friend, the kind of hug that holds on and doesn’t let go and pours so much goodness straight into your heart...Benny is one of a kind and his talent and his love has enriched my life and the lives of all my family."

Tommy Mottola, former Chairman & CEO of Sony Music, said: “One of the best voices since Daryl Hall”.

After his most recent recording (click: https://youtu.be/E8ZlsfXuR3c) of "Into The Night 2019", Benny has now been memorialized in the history books of Billboard for having the Same Song, Different Recordings, Different Labels, Different Decades, & Different Centuries charted 3 different times. Also for very the first time there are two Club Remixes of "Into The Night 2019" by iconic Remixers Dirty Werk & Eric Kupper (click: https://youtu.be/sMk7w2JimkQ), all produced by Joel Diamond.

He might have been known by some as a ‘One Hit Wonder’, but how many people can claim a “Three-In-One Hit Wonder?” says Diamond.

As part of his legacy, Benny’s final wish and his ultimate gift was to donate his body after-death to Parkinson’s for advanced medical research and education.

A Memorial Service will be announced in the near future.

THE STORY

Benny’s long and storied career in music certainly had lots of unexpected peaks and valleys, but through it all, he was always an optimist and a fighter, right to the end. These qualities helped make the throaty singer burst onto the scene and the charts with “Into The Night”, the song he co-wrote with Robert Tepper; which incidentally marks and celebrates 40 years on June 14, 2020, since its first release.

Benny’s life was dramatically changed when he met Jane in 2009 and they married in 2011. Jane was a gift from God right at the time in Benny’s life when he needed it most. She was not only Benny’s loving and devoted partner, care-giver, and best friend, but she was also his “rock”.

As a cocky eleven-year-old, Benny entered the annual Fourth of July talent show in his home town, asking the young back-up group to play "Jailhouse Rock" for him. They said, “What key do you want to do it in?" Mardones recalls that his answer was, “I really don't know”, when in fact, he admitted afterwards, he didn't know anything about music. Well, the back-up group selected their own key and “I went out on stage, grabbed the mike, and started singing, shakin' my leg and swiveling my hips. I brought the house down and won the talent show." Two months later, he was performing regularly with the same back-up group at high school dances and fire halls.

Benny had already developed a taste for the rock and R&B music of the day including Elvis, The Dells and his very favorite singer, Roy Orbison. Orbison was his first rock concert ever, and what an awkward moment he had with his idol. Benny remembers, "I had an extra ticket and my friend asked me if I would sell it for him. I see a guy walking up, a girl on each arm, cat dressed in black...I thought man, that guy looks cool.” I asked him if he needed a ticket and he said, “I believe I already have one,” and he laughed. I continued, “don’t you think that Roy Orbison is the best singer in the world?” The man answered, “I'm sure he'd like to hear that.” “My seat was way up in the balcony for the show, and when this same person that I had just tried to scalp a ticket to walked out on stage, I realized it was Roy Orbison and just about died."

Ironically, later on Benny appeared on a Showtime Tribute to Roy Orbison, alongside such luminaries as Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Johnny Cash, and K.D. Lang. Elvis Presley's band was the house band for the evening. When Benny walked on stage to sing "Running Scared," few people knew his name as compared to the other names, but by the time he finished the song, not only did everybody know his name but he also received a standing ovation for his performance.

It was 1969 that Benny arrived in New York City from Savage, and his first stop was Mercury Records/MRC Music. He marched into the receptionist and said “I would like to audition for the man in charge!” Joel Diamond, new to the business himself but yet a very astute young head of the Music Publishing division, along with his then assistant Tommy Mottola, were blown away when Benny sang a capella in his office. They offered him a staff writer position, and Joel hooked him up with then staff writer Alan Miles. It was then and there that Mardones honed in on his innate writing skills. He and Alan proceeded to write material for Brenda Lee, Three Dog Night, Main Ingredient, Free, Tommy James and a #1 R&B hit with Barbara Jean English. When Diamond became the head of Sony Music Publishing in 1972, he brought Benny along with him and gave him his a writing room in which he created his own personal audition showcase-stage for many luminaries brought in by Diamond, including Clive Davis.

Joel produced and got Benny his first record deal with White Whale Records with a Mardones/Miles penned song, “Stand & Be Counted”. Through Diamond, he scored his second record deal, also with Diamond producing, with Columbia Records, where he recorded the classic doo-wop hit “Please Say You Want Me” and later Diamond put Benny together with The Sound Of Philadelphia & arranger Bobby Martin (“Me & Mrs. Jones”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, etc.) and then produced his second single for Columbia, “And Tomorrow Means Another Day We’re Apart”.

It would be several years later after Benny’s first initial round of success, that Benny got a knock on his door and opened it only to find Andrew Loog Oldham (manager and producer of The Rolling Stones) along with Larry Uttal, the president of Private Stock Records. Soon Benny found himself in recording studio with a band including Mick Ronson on guitar, Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley, and being produced by Oldham. "These were all guys that I'd paid to see in concert, you know?" Benny said, "Half of me was scared to death and half of me said, well this is what you've always wanted, so toughen up and do it."

Mardones started making a real name for himself as a performer touring with Richie Havens, including an outdoor rally on Wall Street in front of 100,000 people. He caught the eye of concert promoter Ron Delsener who was quite impressed by Benny's voice. A few weeks later he received a call from Delsener to ask him if he could fill in for a last-minute cancellation. Amazingly, Benny soon discovered he was opening for Peter Frampton at Madison Square Garden.

It was in 1980 when Benny starting writing with Robert Tepper and got signed to Polydor, where “Into The Night” was born. Once the record was released, it became an instant radio classic across the country and to this day is one of the most frequently played tunes in radio history. It is estimated that the song has been played more than 8 Million times in the US alone. Benny appeared on The Toni Tennille Show, American Bandstand, & Midnight Special, and Merv Griffin Show, sitting along side and being introduced by Kal Rudman of FMBQ (the bible for radio programmers). A fearless & feisty Benny Mardones presented his challenge to step into the boxing ring with Elvis Costello, who was also breaking big at the time, and Benny said to millions of people watching the show, "There is only one Elvis and if he loses the fight, he has to change his first name to Lou."

A Syracuse radio station heard Benny was living in town at that time and wanted him to do a concert appearance. The promoter called and said “We'll pay you $8,000.” He thought to himself, “What’s happening here? Am I opening for The Beatles?” Just a few days before the show, he casually asked the promoter, “By the way, who am I opening for?” The answer from the promoter was, “Nobody - YOU are the head-liner! Don’t you know that the biggest radio station in Syracuse has been playing ‘Into The Night’ and other cuts from your album? Thank you to Tom Mitchell, Program Director, everybody in Syracuse wants to hear more of your music and see you live and in-person.” Benny stepped onto the stage that night and saw a capacity crowd of 12,000 people and it absolutely overwhelmed him. In the middle of his first song, he broke down and started to cry; he literally had to leave the stage. “The crowd saw my emotional breakdown, and it only inspired them to start chanting my name. From that day on, my tour dates began and ended in Central New York."

Syracuse's adopted son was so grateful for this opportunity that he now felt he had to give something back. He continued to pursue his lifelong commitment to help children’s causes. Mardones and his band, The Hurricanes, raised literally thousands of dollars for children's liver transplant operations, Ronald McDonald House, T.J. Martell Foundation, LA Breast Cancer Awareness, and was presented with an award from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of Central New York.

Jerry Kraus, of WOUR radio, the best rock music station in Utica, NY, reminisced that when Benny performed to a sold-out house in Central New York, “It was almost like it was a cult following. He was just the ultimate showman - he could walk into a room and make friends with everybody instantly, had a smile that would light up the room and the gift of gab to go along with it.”

Benny said "It took me a few years after that to come out of the fog and realize that I was hooked on drugs, had blown through my million dollar fortune, alienated everyone that was ever close to me, and had done all the wrong things. But out of all this turmoil, the smoke cleared for a moment, and a little boy was born, my son Michael. I made a pact with the man upstairs and declared, just let me be around to raise this little guy, and I'll never go down that road again.”

In 1989, "Into The Night" was re-released for the second time after a "Where Are They Now?" feature on KZZP played the record and the phones blew up; which led to renewed interest in the song from young listeners hearing it for the first time. The legendary influential program director Scott Shannon, Pirate Radio, added it to his play-list and radio stations across the country followed suit.

"I was in Woodstock living with my son in a friend's attic that I had turned into a little apartment," Benny remembers, "When unbeknownst to me, my original mentor, Joel Diamond, contacted Mike Curb and let him know that there had been a resurgence of “Into The Night” and it might just be a win-win for Curb Records to sign Mardones and re-record his original hit one more time to catch the new wave of radio success. Within days, Benny found himself in Los Angeles cutting an entire album for Curb, with Michael Lloyd producing and Diamond Executive Producing.

As a result of “Into The Night” hitting the charts one more time, it catapulted Benny into the elite stratosphere of becoming one of only eight artists, joining the ranks of Queen, Righteous Brothers, Chubby Checker, The Contours, The Four Seasons, Ben E. King, and Neil Sedaka, to ever ascend to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice with the same song.

It was in 2000 when Benny's life took a dramatic downturn when he was sadly diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Even in spite his illness, he continued to play to sold-out crowds in central New York up until just a few years ago. He was asked to be a guest speaker at Canajoharie High School, upstate NY, where he spoke to students about his experience of bursting into fame after many years of hard work in the music industry. He also spoke about succumbing to drug addiction, his battle to overcome Parkinson’s disease, and the resurrection of his career in upstate New York. He received mulitple standing ovations and concluded with: “Follow your dreams, because this is still a country where you can make your dreams come true.”

Cut to the third & final chapter of “Into The Night”. In 2019, 2x Grammy & Multi Platinum record producer Joel Diamond, stepped back into the role of Benny’s producer and told Benny that he now had the opportunity to create music history by re-cutting “Into The Night” one more time. Diamond knew that to make the charts again, he needed to come at it from a whole new direction. He brought on board music arranger Ted Perlman to do the music for the new and updated ballad version, and Brad LeBeau of ProMotion, to promote Benny’s new Dance Club Remixes by Dirty Werk and Eric Kupper, who have re-mixed 20 #1 Club Hits including Ariana Grande, Diana Ross, Pink, Miley Cirus, and Janet Jackson. This resulted in "Into The Night 2019" charting in Billboard for its third time.

Also in January 2020, Rudy Perez, 5x Grammy Award winner & Billboard Producer of the Decade, wrote a Spanish lyric and actually performed "Into The Night 2019" as a Spanglish duet with Benny, produced by Perez & Diamond.

Benny is now memorialized in the history books of Billboard Magazine for having the: Same Song, Different Recordings, Different Labels, Different Decades, & Different Centuries charted 3 different times.

"Life has a beginning and an end for all of us, but one thing that will always be said of Benny Mardones is that he definitely squeezed the tube-of-life completely dry", said Joel Diamond.

Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Jun. 29, 2020.
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Not sure what to say?
50 entries
July 6, 2020
I , GREW UP LISTENING TO BENNY'S MUSIC WHEN I WAS 11 YEARS OLD ....... FAREWELL , TO YOU !!!!!!!!!!! BROTHER PSALMS 23:01-23:06 ........ HOSEA 3:02 ......... PROVERBS 4:10 ......... JOHN 2:07-2:25-3:14-3:24 ????????????? TIMOTHY 15:17-15:19 ............ & MARK 1:08-1:11 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GABE PAULIE O'MACKEY
July 5, 2020
Another great gone from us.
He is singing for Jesus now.
RIP Benny Mardones.
Holly Principato
July 3, 2020
Benny, you were my favorite singer of all time.

My life has gone 'round and 'round
I have been knocked down a time or two
And each time that it gets real bad
I'm so very glad
That I've got you.

Thank you for all the joy your music has given me in my life.

May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Patricia Kowerko
July 3, 2020
A voice unmatched. Rest In Peace, Benny.
Lauren Jala
July 3, 2020
Oh how we love that song since we were little girls..
Thank you for this beautiful gift. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort his wife during this extremely difficult time.
July 2, 2020
I , ENJOYED BENNY'S MUSIC !!!!!!!!! GROWING UP AT THE AGE OF 10 ....... ENJOY , YOUR 4TH OF JULY TO YOU !!!!!!!!!! BROTHER JAMES 2:10 ....... HOSEA 3:02 ........ MARK 1:08-1:11 !!!!!!!!!!! JOHN 2:07-2:25-3:16-3:24 ??????????? PSALMS 23:01-23:06 ......... & PETER 22:03:22 ..........
EDWARD DAVID CULLEN
July 2, 2020
Youll be missed..best song ever. Condolences to his family. Anna Chrenenko
anna Chrenenko
Acquaintance
July 2, 2020
Into The Night is a good feelin song that touches people of all ages. May the cherished memories continue to warm your hearts, make you smile. So good. May God comfort you.
July 2, 2020
Benny you are now singing in heaven...we love you...RIP Benny
Grace Aguilar
Friend
July 2, 2020
Truly a nice man and will be sadly missed. He and my husband were friends back in the 80's in Syracuse. My late husband was a radio personality and would go golfing with Benny. My heart aches for his family. You are in my prayers
Cheryl Pasternak
Acquaintance
July 1, 2020
The morning FM radio alarm would go off and continue playing as background for the mundane bustle to prepare for work. On the good days, notes would begin and instantly my wife smiled saying "It's Benny!" and the day went better for starting off with one of his songs. We went to his concerts until my wife was no longer able. I sent a little note, thinking it would go unnoticed, apologizing for missing his upcoming Christmas Concert because my wife had just died. But it didn't go unnoticed, instead I received personal condolences. Many of his fans have moments to remember him by, concert moments, met-him-in-person moments. I am fortunate to have had a human moment; a moment that to me was a simple act of great kindness. To Jane and his family, my condolences, and my hope that you happily remember the human moments you shared.
Eric Norton
July 1, 2020
Enjoyed the music, he will be missed. Heartfelt condolences to the Mardones family, may God grant you comfort and strength to carry you through your time of loss.
July 1, 2020


To the MARDONES Family, my Deepest Sympathy's goes out to you. Knew Benny when he was in Savage and followed his Career. Also my condolences goes out to His Sister Louise and the Horner Family, my Love to all, GOD BLESS !
joseph bellofatto
July 1, 2020
my name is rose ,and im from syracuse,ny. i loved watching benny live every time he came to syracuse, im gonna miss him. rip mr. voice
Rosemary Catalano
Grandchild
July 1, 2020
Scott Chamberland
July 1, 2020
My deepest condolences to the Mardones family. I became a huge fan of Benny after first hearing his song Into the Night. His voice was a treasure and will always remind me of my youth. God bless you Benny, for God has another angel for his choir.
Agnes Leon
July 1, 2020
RIP Benny...I have followed your career and "Into the Night" is still and always will be my favorite song EVER!!
It's on my playlist that I listen to every day. Fly High and sing with the Angels!!
NADINE KISER
July 1, 2020
Thank you for your service, and for your music Sir. My condolences to your family. Forever in our hearts. God Bless A Brand New Angel.
Robin
Friend
July 1, 2020
Thank you for your service, and for your music Sir. My condolences to your family. Forever in our hearts. God Bless A Brand New Angel.
Robin
Friend
July 1, 2020
Benny's vocals gave me chills. The song "Into the Night" was part of the soundtrack of my pre-teen years in the late 80s. Thank you for sharing your voice, your talent, your heart, your passion, your struggles with us all. You gave to us all in life and death and learning more and more about you has convinced me that you were just an amazing human being. Rest in Peace, Mr. Mardones. Much sympathy and condolences to the family.
Marie C.
June 30, 2020
I'm so sorry because I grew up with the song I will always remember RIP bro but it's God that does the calling my mom had that Parkinson's disease so I know OK have a good life with god may be with you for ever
angellee Zamora
Acquaintance
June 30, 2020
God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's...My heartfelt condolences to the family's..
June 30, 2020
I became a huge fan after hearing Into The Night sung live on the Merv Griffin Show. Thank you Benny for sharing your amazing voice and talent with the world, for being a patriot, for your military service and lastly for being an extraordinary human being.

Condolences to Jane, Michael and the Mardones family. Heaven has welcomed another angel.


Debbie
June 30, 2020
Benny sang , in my opinion, the greatest vocal performance of all time in rock/pop music with 'Into the Night'.
Dan
June 30, 2020
My deepest sympathy goes out to the family . May the true God comfort your broken hearts. For Psalms 50:15 says call and He will deliver in the day of distress.
June 30, 2020
Thank you for your great music Benny. What a voice!!
Kathy Vollmar
June 30, 2020
Loved your voice and "Into the Night". May you rest in peace.
Sue Shirvani
June 30, 2020
My deepest condolences to the family. May you find comfort in your treasured memories of Your loved one and May God continue to comfort you in the days, months and years ahead.
June 30, 2020
Into The Night was the First Song My 5 year old Son Brandon learned to sing and fell in love with, back 2002. Thanks So Much for sharing your talent. You will be missed. R.I.P. Benny!
Mike Mayle
Friend
June 30, 2020
I first heard "Into the Night" around 1982 when I was approaching my 16th birthday. I felt like the song was written for/about me. I loved the voice and found more by the same artist. I just had to. I have a Tshirt I bought from a shop owned by Dennis MacGuire and purchased tickets to a show at a club in Syracuse. The concert was AMAZING! I sadly missed a concert in Auburn in 1993. Every time I hear "Into the Night" in a store or on the radio I just stop. I have to listen with my whole being. As long as people continue to listen to his music a part of him will always be with us. The world is a quieter place but the universe has gained a beautiful soul and voice. As one of his many fans I will miss him and love him forever. Sympathies to his family and friends.
Colleen Barnes
June 30, 2020
My condolences to his wife Jane and his son Michael. I was a fan of the song"Into The Night.
June 30, 2020
Thank you.
Joel Diamond
Friend
June 30, 2020
WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE , VERY FIRST DAY I , HEARD BENNY'S MUSIC WAS WHEN , I WAS 10 YEARS OLD ....... SHALOM TO YOU !!!!!!!!!! BROTHER PROVERBS 4:10 ......... JOHN 2:07-2:25-3:14-3:24 ?????????????? PSALMS 23:01-23:06 ......... MARK 1:08-1:11 !!!!!!!!!!!!! & MATTHEW 26:12-26:75 ................
JOHNNY DREW NIGMOS I
June 30, 2020
Please accept my sincere condolence to the Mardones Family, Into the Night is a song that will never be forgotten. Benny sung that song with all his heart and soul. May the God of Comfort bind up and mend your grieving hearts with endless love and tender care as you cope with the loss in your lives. So very sorry for your loss.
BRY
June 30, 2020
Many condolences to the family and friends for your loss of Benny Mardones. Into the Night will always be remembered for Benny. At this difficult time, may the God of comfort guide you and give you peace.
Mary
Neighbor
June 30, 2020
Condolences to Mr. Mardones's family. Into the Night is a wonderful song and pleasant memory of my teen years. Thank you for sharing him with the world. Rest is peace Mr. Mardones.
Linda
June 30, 2020
IP Benny. I was first introduced to you in 1981 while living in Germany. Peace my Brother...
Riley Matthews
Acquaintance
June 30, 2020
Sing with the angels.
Stephanie Schell
June 30, 2020
Whenever "Into the Night" comes on the radio I crank up the volume as loud as possible. What an amazing song. Thank you Benny.
Mary C.
June 30, 2020
Loved his hit into the night. R.I.P.
Betty Brannigan
June 30, 2020
Benny, you and your music will live forever.
My condolences to his loving family
Hank mills
June 30, 2020
He was a awesome person with a big Heart and a voice like no other , he will be missed dearly and will forever remain in our hearts. R. I. P. My friend and brother
Edward Beers
Friend
June 30, 2020
Thank you Benny for such a beautiful song and the way you made me feel every time I heard it!! Love ya...
Sandy Herath
June 29, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. ANY Loves you & you will be missed
Denise Gibbs
June 29, 2020
Benny used to come into Ghassans to get his hair done. He was always so nice to me even though I was only the "shampoo girl" .. eventually I opened up my own place and lost track of our connection. I can only say he was incredibly personable and sweet.. always... may he rest in peace and be jamming on a golden Les Paul in heaven ...singing his heart out!
Lisa Lazarou
Friend
June 29, 2020
So sad to hear this. I have always loved this song - Into the Night. It was the song that became the guitar strings in my heart. We were blessed to have heard such a beautiful voice and the kind of music we rarely hear nowadays. Healing prayers to the family and friends who lost such a beautiful person.
Angel T.
Friend
June 29, 2020
I'll always remember and love you Benny. Rest In God Loving Peace. Thank you for your music. That special gifted voice
Maria Jorge
June 29, 2020
I loved Into The Night! It was the song that made me realize I was a singer,too. I was just a kid, but I got it. I loved your passion, range and no one can compete with that voice. I just wish Id had the chance to see you in your prime. Rest easy, Benny. We love you so.
Suzanne Sledge
Friend
June 29, 2020
I feel truly blessed to have heard bennys music i loved every song he sang .Rest In Peace benny mardones ❤
Susan Stanton
Friend
June 29, 2020
BENNY THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT MUSIC! WE HAD GREAT TIMES TOGETHER. I REMEMBER HANGING OUT PHOLS BEACH HOUSE IN SYLVAN BEACH BACK STAGE AND YOU WERE BEHIND THE BAR AND I SAID BENNY CAN YOU GET ME A BEER AND YOU SAID DO ILOOK LIKE YOU XXX BARTENDER MORK LOL. A BROTHER ROM ANOTHER MOTHER. MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE THAT LOVED YOU****** *>



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bruce vennette
Friend
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