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Page last modified on January 18, 2018, at 02:36 PM EST

Group Members

(Partial List)

1st Tenor
Dexter Benjamin (1969-1978?, 2011-2012)
Johnny Parrack (1978?-1979?)

2nd Tenor (Lead)
Norman Benjamin (1969-1979?, 2011-2012)

Baritone
Dean Lawrence (1969-1979?, 2011-2012)

Bass
Bill Gant (1969-1976?)
Dallas Gilliland (1977?-1979?)

Organ and Piano
Leon Frazier (1969-1979?)

The Heismen (1969-1979; 2011-2012)

History

In the late 1960s some young men from around Corinth and Booneville, Misissippi started singing together. They were Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, and Bill Gant. A little later, organist Leon Frazier joined the boys, and they became the Heismen Quartet.

There was a Wurlitzer Organ Plant in Corinth, Mississippi that custom built a "hot rod" organ for Frazier. A Wurlitzer worker painted the organ blue. The blue organ was a centerpiece of their performances and it was routinely transported on the quartetís bus to their singing engagements.

The Heismen members had regular jobs, but they sang every weekend, frequently with major groups. They often traveled with the Happy Goodmans and sang across America. In the late 1970s they appeared on the nationally syndicated Gospel Singing Jubilee television program.

They operated throughout the 1970s and recorded a number of LPs. During most of their existence, the Heismen Quartet consisted of Dexter Benjamin, tenor; Norman Benjamin, lead; Dean Lawrence, baritone; Bill Gant, bass; and Leon Frazier, organist. Former Kingsmen tenor Johnny Parrack and Dallas Gilliland, who went on to become the Gold City Quartetís first bass singer, sang with them in the late 1970s.

After the group retired, some members continued to sing locally on a limited basis including annual homecoming concerts. They often sang as a trio with Dexter Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Leon Frazier's daughter DuJuana, along with Leon at the keyboard.

Leon Frazier died in an accident in 1997. Around 2011, the four remaining original members again put themselves in the public arena by singing in the region for about two years before disbanding.

The Corinth Kiwanis Club sponsors an annual Leon Frazier Memorial Concert that helps in providing thousands of dollars for college scholarships each year. This concert draws some of the most prominent names in gospel music.

Discography

1970? Reunion in Heaven (Praise Records/PLPS-1001):(Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Bill Gant, Leon Frazier).

???? Oh What A Happy Day (P/Praise Records]]/PLPS-1011):(Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Bill Gant, Leon Frazier).


???? Easy Listen'in With The Heismen (Harvest Records/1008): Jesus Took Care Of It All; He'll Hold My Hand; Where We Ever Shall Be; I Have Found The Way; The Lighthouse; He Pilots My Ship; I Will Serve Thee; Rock Of Ages; Softly And Tenderly; The Day Of Liberation Is Nigh.

???? Any Way You Look At 'Em They're Great (Harvest Records/H-1014): (Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Bill Gant, Leon Frazier).

hi-res
1974 The Heismen In Concert (Harvest Records/1026): The Night Before Easter; Break Our Hearts Lord; Oh What A Happy Day; Reunion In Heaven; I'm In A New World; I'll Live In Glory; Joshua

hi-res
1975 Their Best Yet (Harvest Records/HAR-1033): What A Beautiful Day; Sing The Glory Down; Ten Thousand Years; He Did It All For Me; Stepping In The Light; On The Way Home; Heís The Man; Love Lifted Me; When I Wake Up; I Found A City (Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Bill Gant, Leon Frazier).

hi-res
???? The Next Time You See Me (Harvest Records/HAR-1036-LPS): The Next Time You See Me; Itís Shouting Time In Heaven; Some Day; Thereíll Never Be Another Man ike Jesus; Our Country Church; Come And Dine; At The Old Rugged Cross; On My Knees; Help Me; That Same Jesus; Sailing Toward Home (Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Bill Gant, Leon Frazier).

hi-res
1977 Canít Hardly Wait (Harvest Records/HAR-1101): I Canít Hardly Wait; If I Know My Heart; Redemption Day; Learning To Lean; In The Palm Of His Hand; Iíll Need A New Body; Amazing Grace; One Of These Days; Gabriel Blow Your Trumpet; Gloryland March (Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Dallas Gilliland, Leon Frazier) (also released as Supreme RecordsóSS33021 in 1977).

hi-res
1978 Hosanna! (Harvest Records/ECPH1887): Hosanna; I'm So Glad He Found Me; Jesus I Love You; Dwelling In Beulah Land; Let Me Feel Your Spirit; I'll Sail Away Home; Because He Lives; Drifting Too Far From The Shore; Christ Is Standing; There Is A River.

45 RPM Singles
1977 (Supreme Records/4517):Iíll Need A New Body;Canít Hardly Wait (Dexter Benjamin, Norman Benjamin, Dean Lawrence, Dallas Gilliland,Leon Frazier) (both songs written by Leon Frazier).

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Page last modified on January 18, 2018, at 02:36 PM EST