Benjamin Orr (September 8 1947 – October 3 2000) was the bass guitar player and one of the vocalists for the New Wave band The Cars. He sang several of The Cars' greatest hits, including "Just What I Needed", "Let's Go" and "Drive".
Around 1970 Orr moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he met Ric Ocasek and formed a musical partnership that would continue through to the end of his life. Along with lead guitarist Jas Goodkind, the two formed a folk band called Milkwood. The group released one album, How's the Weather, in 1972, which failed to chart. By the mid 1970s Orr was working in a Boston night club band, Cap'n Swing, whose members included future Cars leader Ric Ocasek and guitarist Elliot Easton. After the group broke up in 1975, the three of them joined up with keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson to form The Cars in 1976.
As a key member of The Cars, Orr's biggest success came with the song "Drive," where he was featured on lead vocals and had a part as the storyteller in the accompanying music video. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
After several top hits and multi-platinum albums with The Cars, he released his only solo project The Lace in 1986. He co-wrote all music and lyrics, and the album had one Top 40 hit, "Stay the Night". A second single "Too Hot to Stop" was also released, but did not chart in the Hot 100. The album had a very familiar rhythm and feel of The Cars but was also free of Ocasek's frequently cryptic lyrics. The album cover for The Lace was shot by Jean Renard and featured Ben Orr on the front and his co-writer Diane Grey Page on the back. The video for "Stay the Night" went on to number one on both MTV and VH1, and Orr won an ASCAP award for the song.
Orr continued to work with The Cars for one more album before their subsequent break-up in 1988, after which he and the other members pursued solo work. Between 1987 and 1989 Orr recorded tracks with guitarist John Kalishes for an unreleased follow-up to The Lace. From 1998 until his death in 2000, he performed with three bands, including his own band "ORR", The Voices of Classic Rock, and Big People.
His final public appearance was on September 27 2000 in a Big People concert in Anchorage, Alaska. Six days later, he passed away at his home in Atlanta, on Tuesday night, October 3 2000, aged 53, surrounded by manager Billy Johnson and Big People band members Jeff Carlisi, Derek St. Holmes and Rob Wilson . Big People still performs his classic Cars hits. Orr was also survived by his 5-year-old son, Ben, from a previous relationship.
|Year||Song||Canada||US Hot 100|| US |
| US |
|1986||"Stay The Night"||31||24||6||2||The Lace|
|1987||"Too Hot To Stop"||-||-||25||-||The Lace|
Wipo Publishes Patent of Touchtype, Medlock Benjamin, Orr Douglas Alexander Harper for "User Input Prediction" (British Inventors)
Nov 28, 2012; GENEVA, Nov. 28 -- Publication No. WO/2012/156686 was published on Nov. 22. Title of the invention: "USER INPUT PREDICTION."...