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July 5, 1951 - July 16 2006

Butch Bennett found niche in music, radio broadcasting

BY ADELE L. MACKANOS 219.933.3248 This story ran on on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:09 AM CDT

Butch Bennett found his niche broadcasting on the air waves of radio and also had a passion for every genre of music. "My son was crazy about music from the time he was a youngster. He knew every phase of it and could play many instruments, including trumpet (played first chair in LaCrosse High School band) steel guitar and drums," said Ray Bennett of LaCrosse, Ind. His father also noted his son had bands since he was 15 and had played with such bands as the Dealer's Choice and currently with Ruff House. Bennett's wife, Ethel, of Valparaiso, also recalls the fondness her husband had for being a musician. "Not only did he love it. It was his life," Ethel Bennett said. "He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to having a vast amount of knowledge about gospel, country, bluegrass and rock." Bennett said her husband was a fan of the late country great Buck Owens and also enjoyed the talents of many Nashville stars. "He also liked Crosby, Stills and Nash," his wife said. Besides perfecting his skills on the instruments he played, Bennett said her husband found his niche on the air waves and became a popular disc jockey for WLJE 105.5, broadcasting from the Valparaiso station. "He loved being behind a (microphone), and through the years he developed quite a big following of fans who liked to call him Double B on the air," his wife said."His style earned him some incredible ratings." Joshua Bennett said although he didn't follow in his father's footsteps when it came to careers (he's a chef), his father encouraged him to pursue a love of music. "Dad took me to my first concert and that sparked the interest in music that's with me to this day," Joshua Bennett said. "Dad was a great parent and had a very positive influence on my life." Bennett, a graduate of LaCrosse High School, was currently working at the Guitar Center in Merrillville.