A Boy Named Ben

Album: Single release only (1985)
  • songfacts ®
  • This was a song written with the best of intentions that sunk like a lead balloon. Ben Hardwick was born December 6, 1981. Desperately ill, he became Britain's youngest liver transplant patient. He also appeared on That's Life with Esther Rantzen, but died March 23, 1985. After his death, a singer from London named John Evans (not to be confused with John Evans of Jethro Tull), recorded it with a North London school choir, but it was not a commercial success. In May 1986, Evans' colleague Michael Morgan told the Hackney Gazette only eight-and-a-half seconds of the song had been played on That's Life; the boy's favourite was the Michael Jackson song "Ben," which was recorded specially for him by Marti Webb. Mr. Morgan said they had spent over £10,000 recording and pressing the record "in the hope of raising far more for charity and saving the lives of children." He added they would have been better off donating the money directly.

    A charity was in fact set up in the boy's name; the Ben Hardwick Memorial Fund was registered April 4, 1985 but was wound up in February 1998. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
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