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Benjamin Orr The Legacy is a place where a diversity of fans and supporters come together to share their passions and express their ideas with a group of like-minded people. We want you to feel comfortable enough to be yourself in an open and inclusive environment. Join us today and become part of our amazing community.
The Legacy was co-founded by Dawn-Marie Reigh and Brian K O'Malie.  Betty Wood has recently joined our management and  leadership team.  Brian and Betty have the distinct priveledge of having met Benjamin (separately), while Dawn-Marie has the distinction of having been  engaged to David Tedeschi who was Ben's longtime friend and manager.  David also succumbed to an untimely death before he and Dawn-Marie could tie-the-knot.  We celebrate David's life. legacy and close friendship with Benjamin as well.
The Legacy has always been about honoring Benjamin in a dignified manner while providing a safe harbor atmosphere where everyone will feel comfortable .
Through the years we have been here for one reason-you.
We know from our close personnal ties to Benjamin how much he greatly appreciated his fans, and loved performing.
The Legacy team -Dawn-Marie, Brian, and Betty


Multi-instrumentalist, recording star, humanitarian. and musical hero Benjamin Orzechowski known in Cleveland as  BENNY  ELEVEN-LETTERS, (who later changed his name to Orr) was born September 8, 1947 in Lakewood, Ohio at Lakewood Hospital at 8:15 PM  He was raised in Parma.

His parents were married on October 20, 1945.  Benjamin’s father was Charles Orzechowski was born in Poland on March 19, 1905, and passed away on January 25, 1971. His father's children from a previous marriage were Charles, Dorothy and Richard Orzechowski.

The firstborn son Charles was born on January 17, 1926, and passed on December 3, 1997. Then daughter Dorothy was born September 22, 1928.   She  passed away on August 27, 1985.  Charles' third child Richard Orzechowski was  born on July 27, 1930, and passed on December 10, 1978.

Benjamin's mother,  Betty Orzechowski  was born in the Czech Republic (Russia depending on the year due to wars in the region) on May 12, 1912 and passed on September 6, 2001, which was almost one year after Benjamin's death of Pancreatic Cancer in 2000.Her children  from a previous marriage are Albert and Elizabeth. 

Her firstborn son was Albert Matus.   He was born October 17, 1930, and passed on November 12, 2005.   Betty's daughter was Elizabeth,  born May 10, 1929, She passed on July 29, 1986.

Benjamin has one surviving biological child Benjamin Charles Joseph Orr who was  born September 29th, 1995, and a stepdaughter Sara Marie White, with his partner Edita Hartig.  Sara passed away sadly on September 19th 2018. He has many nieces,  nephews,  family members and friends back in Boston and his hometown state of Ohio, and around the US.  

The July 30, 1965 Life Magazine Features photographs concerning hair-do's and photographed Ben.  Please see photographs section for photo view!

Benjamin was drafted and  served in the United States Army, He was discharged  due to being an only child of Charles and Betty together.

Benjamin was  a prolific singer.  He played the drums, piano, rythm guitar,(his favorite instrument) and bass.

The GRASSHOPPERS formed in 1962. Benjamin joined them in 1964. The song PINK CHAMPAGNE (written by Orr) peaked at #20 at Cleveland's radio station KYW-AM . They spent 13 weeks as a house band to the syndicated TV show THE BIG 5 that premiered in August of 1964.  Executives  later revamped the show's name to UPBEAT once it was syndicated WORLD-WIDE. The host of the show was  DON WEBSTER, and the show was relaunched on NOVEMBER 27th 1964 .  The GRASSHOPPERS opened for THE BEACH BOYS, SHANGRI-LA'S and JAY AND THE AMERICANS, and not long after that THE DAVE CLARK FIVE. In 1965 the  single MOD SOCKS was a local hit,  charting at #14on WHK-AM.  

Another  band Benjamin joined was  ID NIRVANA/LEATHERWOOD.  Their demo features 4 songs.  LOVE LIKE FIRE, WAKE, GOOD THINGS,  and  CHALICE,  with Benjamin  providing the vocals for CHALICE.  All of the these have yet to be released to the mainstream public for sale and are part of studio archives. 

 After joining a few other local bands that did not record and release to the public any known material, Benjamin recorded another original song in1969 entitled JULIE ANN which is also unavailable to the public.

In the early 70's,  Milkwood released their only LP on PARAMOUNT Records,  "How's The Weather?" , a soft rock album with the track written by Benjamin called  LINCOLN PARK.

His noted bands are:

The Cyclones

The Del-Fi's

The Starlighters

The Grasshoppers

The Outsiders & The Dante's

Jimmy Vince & The Proof Sets

The Mixed Emotions

The Rush


ID Nirvana



Richard And The Rabbits

Ocasek & Orr

Cap' N Swing

The Cars


Beacon Hillbillies

VCR (The Voices of Classic Rock)

Big People

THE CARS formed in 1976 had their first top 40 hit in 1978 with their single JUST WHAT I NEEDED.  The band revisited the top 40 within the next 10 years a total of 10 more times! In 1984 THE CARS won Video of the Year at the premier of the  MTV Video Music awards  for  with the song YOU MIGHT THINK.   In the United States alone THE CARS  sold 23 million albums!

Benjamin's solo LP THE LACE,  with his collaborator and finance at the time DIANE GREY-PAGE,  was recorded at The Wool Hall  in England. The Song STAY THE NIGHT reached #24 in the top 100 hits in early 87.   It also earned Benjamin recognition by ASCAP, an award he was most proud of, as his talents were applauded by his peers in the music industry.  

 With longtime friend David Tedeschi as his manager,  Benjamin worked with collaborator JOHN KALISHES on what would be his final solo effort.  In a statement  RHINO RECORDS confirmed that they have obtained the material,  However  they have  absolutely no intentions of releasing it for sale.  JOHN KALISHES agreed to release the unfinished tracks with the stipulation that they be shared with fans without them paying for them.  Brian O'Malie was one of the persons entrusted with those tracks.  

We also note his humanitarian efforts to raise money to fight hunger locally and globally. He was generous with his time and efforts on behalf of others, even volunteering for his local fire/ rescue squad.  

Editorial note:

Please be aware that while researching family we've noticed that there are variations of dates, events, nationalities, etc. We  are currently awaiting replies from family,  friends, and colleagues  to verify accuracy of the  information on this page.  We will make necessary adjustments to this history as required to reflect updated information.



On October 3rd 2000 Family, friends,  fans and  colleagues of Benjamin Orr were devastated to hear he had lost his battle with cancer. 

The primary causes  of Pancreatic Cancer are  smoking, alcohol abuse,  and consumption of foods with high dietary fat.  Those who are obese are 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.   Complications due to compromised liver function and liver  failure are the direct cause of mortality in persons with this illness. Only 7 % of people with Pancreatic Cancer  survive more than 5 years.   It is reported  that as of 2021,  there are no survivors of the first stage of Pancreatic Cancer  for more than 10 years. The average survival rate stands at 8.6 years.  Stages T1 to T4 develop in just over a year without medical intervention. 

Signs of Pancreatic Cancer can rage from no symptoms at first,  and then noted symptoms below which are:

Dark Urine

Jaundice (First notable sign)


Itchy Skin

Poor Appetite


Back Pain

Weight Loss


Enlarged Gall Bladder or Liver

Blood Clots

Light-colored/greasy stools

Foods That Help Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer are






For further information, please contact: The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

1-877272-6226   M-F 7-5 PT


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