Ruben Armand “Benny” Mardones (November 9, 1946 – June 29, 2020) was an American pop singer and songwriter noted for his hit single “Into the Night“, which hit the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart twice, in 1980 (#11) and again in 1989 (#20).
Due to the success of “Into the Night,” Curb Records signed Mardones and he recorded “Into the Night ’89.” The track appeared on his self-titled release (known as the “Blue Album” by his fans). Not long after that, Mardones 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. After Mardones performed “Running Scared,” he received a standing ovation.
Mardones’ band was the Hurricanes.
Mardones began his career as a songwriter. He has written songs for people like Brenda Lee and Chubby Checker. He used to demo the songs he wrote and Tommy Mottola suggested that he record his own songs. Since that time he has written and recorded over 100 songs.
Into the Night
“Into the Night” is one of the few songs to have charted twice on Billboard, in 1980 and again in 1989. In 1989, KZZP, a radio station in Arizona, ran a segment titled “Where Are They Now?” The most popular question was “Whatever happened to the guy who sang ‘Into the Night’?” Scott Shannon, then program director for Pirate Radio in Los Angeles, added “Into the Night” to its playlist. Radio stations across the country followed suit and “Into the Night” was once again a hit. Mardones was 33 years old when the song became a hit for the first time and he still lives quite well on the royalties.
Benny Mardones was born Ruben Armand Mardones on November 9, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Ruben Sr., was from Santiago, Chile. Benny only saw his father a few times in his life. His father left Benny and his sister, Louise, when Benny was a baby and eventually returned to Chile. In addition to Louise, Benny has two half-brothers and two half-sisters who live in Chile.
Benny grew up in Savage, Maryland, and graduated from Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland, in 1964. He joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served during the Vietnam War. He was briefly married when he was 21 years old, and again in the mid-1980s. After his discharge from the Navy he moved to New York City to pursue his singing and songwriting career. While living in New York, he composed several songs with writing partner Alan Miles. He later wrote songs with fellow singer-songwriter Bobby Tepper, including the song “Into the Night.”
The multi-platinum success of “Into the Night” in 1980 catapulted Benny into the limelight, and he soon spiraled into cocaine addiction and alcoholism. He stopped performing concerts and making public appearances and his label, Polydor Records, dropped him. Over the next few years, he lapsed into obscurity. The birth of his son Michael in April 1985 inspired Benny to get his life in order. The following month, he moved to Syracuse, New York, and by the end of the summer he had kicked his drug and alcohol habit. The renewed popularity of “Into the Night” in 1989 reignited his career, but he wasn’t able to duplicate his earlier success, and he hasn’t had another Billboard Top 100 hit.
Benny is the subject of a documentary titled Into the Night: The Benny Mardones Story that was set to be released on DVD in the fall of 2008. However, it has not been released, and no release date is scheduled.
Benny was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Despite his illness, he continued to perform to sold-out audiences in central New York, where he retained a notable fan following. On December 16, 2017 Mardones performed “Into the Night” publicly for the last time at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.
On October 4, 2011, he married his third wife, Jane Braemer, originally from Denmark. He and Jane resided in Menifee, California.
In July 2018 Benny underwent DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) which minimized the tremors, but unfortunately complications from the extensive surgeries created numerous other balance, stability, confusion, and pain issues. After surgery, Benny suffered multiple falls including one that dislocated his hip and shattered his pelvic bone. Continued dislocations and several surgeries later, Benny spent a long time fighting various infections. His hip replacement surgery was completed in January 2019. Since then, he dislocated his hip again and recently had another surgery to fix that.
In December 2018 a GoFundMe campaign was started to help with ongoing medical costs.
Mardones died on June 29, 2020 at his home in Menifee, California.
- 1978: Thank God for Girls
- 1980: Never Run, Never Hide
- 1981: Too Much to Lose
- 1986: American Dreams (Benny Mardones & the Hurricanes)
- 1989: Benny Mardones
- 1996: Stand By Your Man
- 1998: Bless a Brand New Angel
- 2002: A Journey Through Time
- 2006: Let’s Hear It for Love
- 2015: Timeless (Benny Mardones & the Hurricanes)
- 2007: Turning Stone Live 2006
- 2008: Extended Versions (Live)
- 2008: Turning Stone Live 2007
- 2009: Turning Stone Live 2008
- 2010: Turning Stone Live 2009
- 1980: Live Sides
- 1985: Unauthorized
- 2013: The Lost Tapes
|1970||“Stand and Be Counted” (released as Troy)||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|1972||“Please Say You Want Me” (released as Troy)||—||—||—||—|
|“If You Gotta Break Another Heart” (released as Troy)||—||—||—||—|
|1978||“All For a Reason”||—||—||—||—||Thank God for Girls|
|1980||“Into the Night“||11||—||12||29||Never Run, Never Hide|
|1981||“Sheila C.”||—||—||—||—||Too Much to Lose|
|1989||“Into the Night”||20||20||—||—||Benny Mardones|
|“I Never Really Loved You at All”||—||—||—||—|
|“I’ll Be Good to You”||—||—||—||—|
|1993||“Two Worlds, Two Hearts”||—||—||—||—||Stand By Your Man|
|1996||“It’s All in the Game”||—||—||—||—|
|“Stand By Your Man”||—||—||—||—|
|2003||“I Know You By Heart” (Katrina Carlson with Benny Mardones)||—||25||—||—||Untucked (Katrina Carlson album)|
|2006||“Into the Night/Da Heat of the Night” (Conrad Hilton featuring Benny Mardones)||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|“I Believe in Miracles”||—||—||—||—|
|“United We Stand” (featuring Teresa James)||—||—||—||—|
|“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” (featuring Tamara Walker)||—||—||—||—|
|“Please Say You Want Me”||—||—||—||—|
|“The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore”||—||—||—||—||Let’s Hear It for Love|
|“From Me to You”||—||—||—||—||Bless a Brand New Angel|
|“Everything That Touches You, Touches Me”||—||—||—||—|
|“Bless a Brand New Angel”||—||—||—||—|
|“Please Say You Want Me”||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|“And Tomorrow Means Another Day That We’re Apart”||—||—||—||—|
|“Into the Night/Da Heat of the Night” (featuring Conrad Hilton)||—||—||—||—|
|2012||“I’ve Got You”||—||—||—||—|
|“Into the Night (2012)”||—||—||—||—|
|2015||“Where Angels Fly”||—||—||—||—|
|2016||“Christmastime in Syracuse”||—||—||—||—|
|2017||“No Words for Love”||—||—||—||—||Bless a Brand New Angel|
- https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/9402923/benny-mardones-into-the-night-dead-73 Benny Mardones, “Into the Night” Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 73
- Grein, Paul (May 7, 1989). “Old Records Are New Hits”. Los Angeles Times. p. 76. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- “Benny Mardones – Into the Night 12/16/17 (Turning Stone Casino)”. YouTube. December 4, 1976. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- “Benny Mardones Chart History”. Billboard. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- “Benny Mardones Chart History”. Billboard. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- “Item: 252 – Library and Archives Canada”. Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Steffen Hung. “charts.nz – Benny Mardones – Into The Night”. Charts.nz. Retrieved February 5, 2019.