LOU "Big Lou" BENITO
BORN: October 6th, 1948
CHILDHOOD: Manhattan, NYC ... 103rd Street ... Amsterdam Avenue Projects
In 1960, when Lou was 12 years old, he sang 2nd tenor for an acappella group named "The Chants" with Jaime De Jesus. The group competed in the Apollo Theater Talent Show, they were also selected to backup Frankie Lymon for a comeback performance at an outdoor "Block Party". They sang at the Renaissance Ballroom in Harlem and at numerous shows and parties in the 'hood'. The Chants also performed and competed at Town Hall in NYC which resulted in the recording of an LP Demo on Amber Records which, unfortunately, was never released.
Lou was not only a prominent player for the basketball varsity, he was also a member of the Gomper's H.S. Chorus in the mid 1960's and sang bass for an acappella group named Memory from 1976-1990. Memory performed in numerous venues including a live appearance on WCBS-FM, "Don K. Reed's Doo Wop Shop". Memory recorded for Avenue D Records and was recognized in the BillBoard Book of American Singing Groups - A History 1940-1990 (Jay Warner).
Lou sang bass for an oldies, doo wop group named "Desire" from 2006-2016. Desire released their first CD, 'Step By Step', in September, 2008.
Lou currently sings with Jaime and Nancy De Jesus in a group known as “DeJesus Inspires” in the New Jersey area. They released their first CD, "Echoes of Harlem" in Nov, 2018.
Lou's music Influences were: listening to 'Murray the K's Swingin' Soiree' radio show; attending concerts at the Brooklyn Fox featuring many singing groups; growing up in Manhattan, hearing guys harmonizing in the street corners and parks; singing bass in the junior high chorus and then, meeting up with his oldest friend, Jaime, and forming his first group at the age of 12 and competing with other neighborhood groups. He is an established golfer and, whenever possible, spends time with his two sons and grandchildren.