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Local news: Little Benny vigil tonight

lil bennyThere will be a tribute to go-go pioneer Little Benny tonight at Ballou High School. (Thomas Sayers Ellis)

By Sarah Godfrey

Family members, friends and fans of Anthony "Little Benny" Harley, who passed away Sunday, will gather at Ballou Senior High School tonight at 7 p.m. to honor the go-go pioneer.

The tribute to Harley, a Ballou alum, will feature a performance by the Ballou Marching Band.

Those who can’t make it to the vigil, but still want to look back at Harley's life and music, should check out the amazing multimedia tribute at Kevin "Kato" Hammond, who runs the site and played with Harley, has included video clips, past articles and a special radio dedicated to Benny and showcasing the music of his career.

By Sarah Godfrey  |  June 2, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Local news  | Tags: Kato Hammond, Little Benny  
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Hey Everyone
My Heart is still heavy, after hearing this unbelievable news. I remember the day I met "Lil Benny". I was a Majorette in my Senior Year @ F.W. Ballow H.S. (Class of 79), and he was attending Hart JHS. Benny was friends with a lot of people @ Ballou during that time. Someone told the Band Teacher (Mr. Daniels) that there was this kid down @ Hart who could really play the Trumpet. Mr. Daniels encouraged Benny to come over and practice after school with the Ballou Marching Band (at that time, the Band was just starting to take themselves serious, so they needed all the help and encouragement they could get). Back then, Benny was short and small in statue, but boy did he set a great example among all. He was so talented at such a young age, very committed to coming to practice, eager in following all of the instructions, and of course great in helping in keeping everyone focused and on beat. He was also a riot to be around, he loved to laugh and was always down to earth no matter when or where he saw you. Back then, you walked or caught the Bus to the GO-GO, Smoked Reefer, Dranked Beer or Wine, Danced all night till your clothes stucked to you, collected or gave out a couple of digits, and then went to your house or one of your friends house, and all was well.......DC, GO-GO and myself will never be the same since loosing "Lil Benny"....He will be Missed, but NEVER Forgotten......aka Gwennie Goodwin :)

Posted by: GwenWade | June 2, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Benny I am going to miss you. 30 years ago at the age of 14 you and the rest of Rare Essence introduced me to my first live go go at the Panorama Room. I been hooked ever since. You were the one that kept me coming back to the go go all these years. You were a great performer but more than anything you had such a sweet spirit. Every time I saw you you gave me hugs. Every time you were on stage on the mic and saw me out there partying you were calling my name in that raspy voice of yours.I'm gonna miss you. You were go go history no one ever did it nor will ever do it like you did Benny. You can be described in three words... Simply THE BEST!!!

Ms. Edie

Posted by: enewton | June 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Lil Benny, you will be missed very much. You were the best. You could move people to that go-go beat. I remember the good old times when my family and your family lived in Linda Pollen. We were young growing up. We use to have so much fun. I still cannot believe that you are gone. I know that you are in a better place, so rest in peace and May God bless you. aka dcandy46 as L.C.

Posted by: dcandy46 | June 2, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Lil Benny, my first real acquaintance with you was when I joined Ballou’s Instrumental Music Class in 1978 & 1979. I was there to learn how to play the trumpet like you. We used to sit beside one another, me learning how to play one trumpet and you already playing two. I never forget you showing me a few tricks with that horn. You were truly a good friend. We (The Valley Green Crew) followed RE & You every Tuesday night at The Chapter Three, Wednesday night at The Maverick Room, Friday night at the Howard Theatre and of course Saturday night at the Club Le Baron (Representing that SE Side). Benny, you was a site to see. Not only with that trumpet, but you had true leadership on stage. I say that the whole G0 GO Family in the DMV is going to miss you man. There will never be another Go Go Master & Pioneer of your kind. RIP my brother! I Miss You & will alway love you!! aka Lil Tony (AHampton)

Posted by: anthonyhampton | June 2, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear of the loss of a GO-GO Legend. Lil Bennie will be missed by his go-go fans. I last saw him at the Hampton Jazz Festival with Chuck Brown and again at the Norfolk Waterfront with Chuck Brown and Keith Sweat and I wish he and Chuck Brown had closed the show. RIP Lil Bennie.

True GO-GO fan from Newport News, VA via of Southeast DC. Ballou Knight 1977
Gloria (Jean) Wmson

Posted by: glotroy | June 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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