Roger Bennett (musician)
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March 10, 1959|
Strawberry, Arkansas, U.S.
|Died||March 17, 2007
|Occupation(s)||Pianist, vocalist, songwriter|
|Associated acts||Legacy Five, Cathedral Quartet|
Roger Bennett (March 10, 1959 – March 17, 2007) was an American Southern gospel pianist, singer, songwriter, and co-founder of the award winning gospel quartet Legacy Five. Prior to forming Legacy Five, he served nearly 20 years as pianist for The Cathedrals.
Born March 10, 1959, grew up in Strawberry, Arkansas. He was raised in a Missionary Baptist home. In November 1979, Roger fulfilled his lifelong dream of being a part of professional southern gospel music when he was invited by Glen Payne and George Younce to join the legendary Cathedral Quartet. Though he would leave the group for two years (1987–1989) to serve as the president of Journey Records, Roger was the group's pianist at the time of the quartet's retirement in 1999. Roger also served as the Cathedrals' lead singer for the final three months of the group's farewell tour in 1999, following the passing of long-time lead Glen Payne.
Following the retirement of The Cathedrals, Roger and fellow Cathedrals member Scott Fowler launched Legacy Five. In 2004, Roger fulfilled another dream (having his own successful quartet) when readers of Singing News voted Legacy Five as the Favorite Traditional Male Quartet.
Although an excellent singer, Roger is best remembered as pianist—and often a comedian. Roger received the Singing News Fan Award for Favorite Southern Gospel Pianist 15 years in row (1993–2007), and was voted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
Songwriting was another forte' of Roger Bennett. Many of his songs appeared on the recordings of the Cathedrals, Legacy Five and many others. His writing talent was not limited to just songs, however. Roger was a contributing editor to Singing News, writing "Midnight Meditations."
Illness & Death
In 1995, Bennett was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent some time off the road while the rest of the group continued touring. His leukemia battle would be a struggle off and on over the next twelve years. During his various periods of remission, and as often as his health permitted when the cancer relapsed, he continued to travel with the Cathedrals and Legacy Five. He received three bone-marrow transplants at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas as well as extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. However, his leukemia continued to progress, and the cancer treatments led to different health problems, including different kinds of cancer and many infections. He died on March 17, 2007.
- "Legacy Five Biography". Archived from the original on 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Cathedrals History Page". Daniel J. Mount. Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Roger Bennett Inducted Into SGMA Hall Of Fame". SGMA. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Roger Bennett's Midnight Meditations". Roger and Debbie Bennett. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- "Roger Bennett Passes Away". SoGospelNews. Retrieved 2008-02-21.