Arley Benton was born in Texarkana, Arkansas. Whilst residing in Toledo, Ohio, during the mid 1950s, and having been influenced by Sam Cooke and B.B. King, Benton began playing blues music. By 1959, he was leading his own band in Chicago. During the 1960s, local record labels, such as Melloway, Alteen, Sonic, and Twinight Records released several Benton singles, before in 1971 he joined Willie Dixon.