Eighties rock singer Benny Mardones died June 29, 2020 in his Menifee, California home as a result of complications from Parkinson’s disease at the age of 73.
Ruben Armand Mardones was born on November 9, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio but grew up in Savage, Maryland a first generation American of Chilean immigrants. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Mardones joined the Navy after graduating from high school.
After being discharged from the service, Mardones was signed to Mercury Records as a songwriter where he wrote songs for a number of artists including Brenda Lee, Barbara Jean English, Three Dog Night, Main Ingredient, Free, and Tommy James.
In the late seventies, Mardones launched a singing career where he opened for Richie Havens and later released his debut album “Thank God for Girls”. But it was his second album that launched Mardones into stardom with the song “Into the Night”. A song with beautiful music, the lyrics were somewhat uncomfortable for some with the opening line “She’s just 16 year old, leave her along, they said.” Mardones later explained that the song was about a neighbour with whom he had a platonic relationship.
Mardones never charted a single again, becoming a one hit wonder. But at the end of the decade the song an episode of “Where are They Now” revived the song and Mardones recorded a second version of the song the become a hit once again. Mardones would see a third revival of “Into the Night” when a remix of the hit was released.
Living in Syracuse, New York, Mardones would make a career of local performances for until his Parkinson’s disease prevented him from doing so.
He is survived by his wife Jane, son Michael, and sister Louise. Mardones is having his body donated for Parkinson’s research. A memorial service will be held some time in the near future.
Benny Mardones discography:
“Thank God for Girls”
“Never Run, Never Hide”
“Too Much to Lose”
“Bless a Brand New Angel”
“A Journey Through Time”
“Let’s Hear it for Love”
“Turning Stone Live – 2006”
“Turning Stone Live – 2007”
“Turning Stone – 2009”
feature photo credit: Benny Mardones Facebook page