Born in Seattle, I started studying the accordion in 1953 when I was 11 years old. I studied all through my teen years. It seems I took to music
very quickly and was teaching by age 14. I fronted a Country band called the Buckaroos, about the same time, and we went on to win many amateur contests!
After high school, I taught 50 students per week in Fairbanks, Alaska. Accordion was extremely popular back then as Dick Contino was a superstar accordionist with millions of fans.
I stayed in Fairbanks for a year and then began a life of a touring musician. I became the comedic half of a musical/comedy team called "Raymond & Bennett" and played all over the country.
In 1981, while performing in Las Vegas, I actually met Dick Contino and started working with him as his conductor and musical arranger. I stayed with Dick until 1993, at which time I moved to Reno, Nevada, where I have resided ever since.
I became quite well known in Reno and played all the top venues. I have recently retired from performing and now work online as an accordion and piano teacher. I produce YouTube Music theory courses, design webs for entertainers, record background tracks for singles and duos and I author music theory books.
This change of career has been a good move and my business is growing every day!