Friday, December 24, 2010

Freeman Bright

William Freeman Bright was my grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him, as he had passed away several years before i was born.

When I was growing up, my dad used to tell me stories about my Grandpa Bright and how he loved to play country-western music. When my dad was young, grandpa would regularly have friends over to the house and they would play music together, often going late into the night.

I've spent a lot of time through the years wondering about who he was and what he was like. A few years ago, my dad told me that grandpa had made some home recordings in the early 1950's. This was really exciting news to me, but at the time, the whereabouts of these recordings was a mystery. I talked with my dad and a few of my cousins, but our questions were always met with dead ends. as much as I really wanted to hear Grandpa Bright sing and play the guitar, I thought that the records were probably lost, and that my wish would remain only a wish.

In november 2010, my Uncle Steve passed away. soon after, I drove up with my parents to Apple Valley for the memorial service, which was being held at my aunt's house. While I was there, I was talking with my cousin Vince and looking at old family pictures. I casually mentioned that I had heard that Grandpa Bright had made some records and how much I would love to hear them someday.

"Grandpa's records? I've heard them. They're in my mom's closet." I'm sure my jaw hit the floor when I heard those words. One conversation quickly led to another and no more than 5 minutes later, I was holding a red cardboard box with Christmas decorations on it. Inside the box, wrapped in bubble-wrap were 6 very worn yellow vinyl records.

Needless to say, I got a record player and got it hooked up to Pro Tools. The records were in very poor shape, but I was able to extract the audio off them. Among the 6 records, there was only 1 cut of grandpa singing and playing guitar, but luckily, it all transferred without any needle skips.

I cleaned up the track the best I could and then after listening to it several times, I decided I wanted to try and play it. I got my Stratocaster out and started strumming along. And then I thought that it would probably be fun to play some drums with it too, so I grabbed my sticks and threw on my headphones and had a great time.

Then it dawned on me that since I was having so much fun playing along, I might as well record it. Several hours and several tracks later, I arrived at a finished song. I did my best to blend what I recorded with the original so it would keep the same feel, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. And now it's my wish to share it all with you.

This is dedicated to my family. I love each and every one of you.

If you would like a digital copy of the song, or if you have any questions, please email me at

Freeman Bright's long lost recording

Right now I'm listening to:
Bing Crosby's White Christmas