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Life on Hill interview with John Bennett
John Bennettweb
John Bennett, bass singer in the Ossabaw Sound Quartet, has been singing in quartets for more than 20 years. - photo by Photo provided.

Today's subject is John Bennett, bass singer in the Ossabaw Sound Quartet.

Q: How long have you lived in Richmond Hill?
A: I have lived in Richmond Hill on and off since 1980. I’m an Air Force brat, so I’ve lived all over.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I work for CSX Railroad. I’m a locomotive engineer, and I’ve been doing that for 16 years. I served in the Marine Core, and now I also cater on the side. I’m the creator of the Notch 8 BBQ Sauce.
Q: How did you start singing for a barbershop quartet?
A: I’ve been barber-shopping since 1993, the same year my son was born. Ossabaw Sound is one of many quartets I’ve sang with. I was selling cars in Savannah and a man came to me shopping for a car. He was about to perform in a show and gave me tickets to come. At the time, I was just thinking I should go so I could make the sell. But when I saw the show, I enjoyed it. I ended up joining the group the following week.
Q: How long have you been singing?
A: The first time I did any actual singing was in high school. I was in chorus, so that was 35 years ago at least. I’ve always sang along with the radio. My brother-in-law and I would do karaoke-style singing, and then I got involved with the barber-shoppers. I’m actually the incoming president for the 13th Colony Sound Chorus.
Q: Would you say that the four of you in this group are friends outside of the quartet?
A: We are very good friends and are probably only good friends because of the quartet. We probably wouldn’t be friends if it weren’t for the singing just because we would never have met. We all met through the group.
Q: What do you enjoy most about singing with Ossabaw Sound?
A: We all enjoy entertaining and seeing smiles on people’s faces or even a tear in someone’s eye from moving them one way or another.
Q: What has been your favorite place to perform? Where will Ossabaw Sound perform next?
A: My favorite place was the Lucas Theatre in downtown Savannah. It’s nostalgic and historical. We’re going to be singing so much in the coming weeks. We are going to be singing for the Salvation Army, a couple nursing homes and at the Pirate’s House in Savannah. We always sing wherever we go.
Q: What’s your favorite place to visit nearby? Why?
A: My brother lives in Gatlinburg, Tenn. I really enjoy going there. We live on the coast, and that’s in the mountains so I get different scenery and fresh air. Everyone is friendly up there.
Q: If money weren’t an option, how would you spend your time?
A: I would travel. I would like to go to Germany. My wife and I are talking about taking a Viking River Cruise. I would probably like to do more mission trips as well.
Q: What’s one talent you wish you had?
A: I guess that I could play any instrument. I used to play the saxophone, but not anymore.

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