A Little Known Cousins Fact
How many Cousins have heard of someone who started out with the name Benjamin Peay, the son of Mattie and Willie Peay from Lugoff S.C., who was born September 19, 1931. He sang with his family The Peay Gospel Singers, at the Ephesus Methodist Church where his father was the choir director.
He left Lugoff as a teenager and went to New York City and joined the Bill Lankford Quartet and completed high school.
Seeking an opportunity, he wore grooves in the sidewalks trudging to music publishers’ offices to demonstrate his songs and voice. He visited publishers before and after work. He worked as a milkman, a chauffer, a presser, in a grocery store, etc. He stared out in show business as a songwriter. Famous artist like Clyde McPhatter, Nat King Cole, recorded his songs. He composed over three hundred publishable songs.
His many unselfish efforts in behalf of charities, youth and race relations are legendary. Homespun, devoted to his family and friends, he wore his crown of stardom as he formerly wore his milkman’s cap.
On September 27, 1985 he became a recipient of the highest State award, which is bestowed upon a native South Carolinian, the Palmetto Award. At that time he was also presented a key to the city of Columbia. On September 28,1985, he was also presented a key to the city of Camden, S.C. Who am I?
I am cousin Brook Benton! “Rainy Night In Georgia”