Pete's August 1996 Article.
"I've Been Around" by Pete Bennett
Since I've written the last two articles for this magazine I've had a lot of people call and ask if I was the Pete Bennett they knew and where I've been.
In all the instances I was the guy they knew and here's an accounting of where I've been. Although I can't say, as the song says, "I've been Everywhere" I can say I've been "here and there." This article also contains a lot of my humor!
I played in Bands for more then twenty-five years. At one particular place we were playing one night, the Lady who owned the bar came up right in the middle of the show and said "here's your money." I said to her, you could have waited till we were done to pay us. She said, "your done!" Then, another night, a Lady came up at intermission and said Mr. Haggard, would you please sign your autograph for my little girl? I said sure I'll sign it, but my name isn't Merle Haggard. She said, what's the difference, the kid can't read anyway. I always had a lot of requests to play "over by the door." And if I would, they would help me out! Sing solo, "so low that they couldn't here me". Compliments like "You should be on the stage," it left ten minutes ago or "when is the band going to show up?" As you may see, I find a lot of humor in what I do.
I first played with a group, some friends and I formed, called the "Endless Mountain Boys" in Sterling Run, PA. We really were endless too! We played mostly for drinks and often times the bar owner actually had to request that we stop playing so that he could close up for the night. Later, my band was the "Country Cousins" and we played every Saturday night at Danny's Tavern in Austin, PA. Had great times there. The Commercial Hotel in Driftwood, PA and the Kersey, PA Fireman's were other places we played. Of all the songs I ever sang I would say that "Release Me" was probably the my most requested. Now I wonder, were they trying to tell me something? In 1972 I left country music behind for a while and played with a great Slovenian Polka Band called the "Counts." After five years, they dropped me though as I still couldn't. Count that is! Or maybe the reason was because I called the accordion player "old Wrinkle Chest." No, I'm only joking, they really were a great bunch of guys. It's just that those polkas all began sounding alike to me. It got to where I couldn't tell "Peanuts" from the "Happy Birthday Polka" We played a lot in the St.Marys, Ridgway and DuBois areas of Pennsylvania.
Finally, it was back to country music with I joined the "Nashville Collection." With this band I played through out the Tri-County area for quite a few years and got to know a lot of you fine people. As a matter if fact this band is still playing yet today, led by a great friend of mine, Romey Secco, now called "Romey and Friends". Watch for them.
And speaking of friends I performed with over the years, check all these names out. It was my honor and privilege to share the stage with each an every one of the following people although, at times, I did try to upstage them!
This is my tribute to all of them for just for putting up with me. And thanks everyone! It was great fun. Perhaps you will recognize some of these wonderful musicians. They are: Tom Anderson, Al Bauer, Bertie Lee Baughman, Bob Boyer, Kenny Brown, Ray Card, Gary Dietz, Kevin Dippold, Joe Disque, Alice Disque, Larry Donaldson, Tom Doran, Paul Fehrenbach, Jim Florio, Jim Genevro, Bill Gerg, Harry Gerg, Bill Hunt, Denny Iorfida, Jim "A. K." Kronenwetter, Eddie Meraglia, Howard Nelson, Al Neyman, Jim Novosat, Dick Pichler, Nancy Rekowski, Bernie Rekowski, Tom Russell, Jim Schatz, Irv Serafini, Greg Signor, Romey Secco, Jennifer Secco, John Smith, Andy Weis, Ashley Evans, Tom T. Hall, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson and Freddie Fender. And I might add that I have not listed here people that I am still performing with at Jams in Florida & Canada.
Then on May 22, 1993, while visiting my daughter and her family at Virginia Beach, VA, I suffered a rather severe stroke. After several months of rehabilitation and an operation to open one of my carotid arteries, I have recovered quite well but not well enough to play that old guitar. I'll keep trying though and thanking the Lord every day for the wonderful, fun filled life I've had and still enjoy.
So thanks to all of you people out there who remember me, who may have enjoyed my music or jokes, I say, you are part of where I've been. If you ever think of the good old times we may have shared or a joke I told that was funny, drop a line to me at my e-mail address email@example.com because I'm always looking for a subject for my next article. YOU, just may be a part of it.
Links to the Bands I performed with:
Visit my Country Cousins Page (with a pictures) 1967-1973
Visit my Counts Page (with a pictures) 1973-1978
Visit my Nashville Collection Page (with a pictures) 1985-1993
footnote: Now in 2017 while wintering in Fort Myers Beach, FL I'm singing in many country Jams sessions at several RV Parks and I could not begin to name or thank all the wonderful players I've performed with since 2001. I also appear and sing at many sites with "open mics" in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada like "Opry Niagara" and the "Canadian Corps Unit "104" with "Classic Country Sundays". It is my custom to give all the audiences a blessings with my microphone. Be sure to "keep those cards and letters coming in, Friends", just send them to WCKY Cincinnati 1, Ohio. "On the air everywhere 24 hours a day 7 days a week" and may God Bless each and every one of You. I am a very Lucky Guy!
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