MP3 Allen Greggory - A Country Man
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12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Pop, COUNTRY: Country Rock
A Brief Biography
Allen Raymond Greggory was born on June 9, 1969 in Skokie, Illinois to Junior and Edna Greggory. He was the second, and final child born to the Greggory family, his brother Bryan John having been previously born on March 26, 1962. Allen had a normal childhood, where he attended Jane Stenson elementary school. Al's second grade class had four kids with the name Allen (or Alan), so his classmates began calling him by his last name. This was soon shortened to the one syllable Greg, which he still answers to as often as he does Al.
Al's fondest childhood memories involve following the various Chicago sports teams, most notably the Cubs and the Bears. Al remains a loyal fan of the Chicago professional sports teams to this day, often taking a week off in the summer to go see his beloved Cubs at Wrigley field. Among the college ranks, however, the Michigan State Spartans number one on his list (Junior is an alumnus of MSU). Al has said on more than one occasion: "I'm sure we were the only family in Skokie that routinely marched around the house singing the Michigan State fight song."
In addition to sports, music was an important part of Al's young life. His mother listened to everything from Herb Albert to Harry Belefonte to Johnny Cash (who became Al's first musical hero) to musicals, and his brother was a fan of groups like Kiss, Queen, and Aerosmith. Al bought as many albums and 45s as he could afford, eventually building an impressive collection of vinyl. He was also a fan of the Superman and Batman comics as a child.
The summer of 1981 Al's family moved to Saginaw, Michigan, where he attended Shields Junior High (getting a D in choir) and Swan Valley High School. The move was a bit of a jolt to the comfort of Al's world, so he became somewhat withdrawn. To pass the time he often spent alone, Al turned to writing poetry. None of these early works survive, owing to the fact that they were most often destroyed upon completion. Nonetheless, these early exercises in rhyme became the starting point for his foray into song writing.
As Al progressed through junior and senior high, he became interested in several of the groups now retrospectively known as the "hair bands." He was also, through his good friend Dave Roberts, introduced to the early works of a man by the name of Elton John. It was Elton who would become his biggest musical influence, along with country legend Johnny Cash and folk singer John Denver.
After graduating from Swan Valley High School in 1987, Al met up with a piano playing Elton John fan named Neil Richards. Al and Neil tried their hand at writing songs in the style of Elton and his partner Bernie Taupin, producing around a dozen completely forgettable tunes.
Realizing a career in the music business wasn't in his immediate future, Al enrolled in classes at Mid Michigan Community College (Harrison, Michigan) with the goal of becoming a Respiratory Therapist. Along the way he met one Catherine Yuchta (born June 23, 1970) a nursing student, whom he married on July 21, 1990. The Greggory family soon grew with the additions of Adam (August 12, 1991), fraternal twins Jacob and Joshua (December 5, 1993), and Rachel (April 20, 1995). Catherine's sister Jenny (born May 27, 1979 with Down Syndrome) rounded out the Greggory household when she moved in during the summer of 1997.
In the process of establishing himself as a Respiratory Therapist, Al has worked at least one hospital in each of the tri-cities (Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland). Becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist in June of 1990 remains his proudest achievement, excepting his role as a husband and father. It was in his capacity working in Respiratory that his song-writing muse was re-discovered.
During the Christmas season of 1996, Al's department manager suggested that it might be fun to take popular Christmas songs and change the lyrics to reflect the ins and outs of respiratory care. So Al got together with a piano-playing co-worker of his, Dave Howard, and they came up with The Sputum Song, done to the tune of The Christmas Song. Other such numbers followed, with such appealing titles as: Sweet Sputum So Divine, Brown Sputum, Breaking Up Tenacious Goo, and Phlegm Busters. Eventually Al told Dave that he wanted to take a shot at writing a "real" song, and the result was Head Toward The Light. The following year, Al began writing and recording songs for what would become his first CD, A Country Man.
When asked about his "anti-country country" approach to his music, Al just laughs. "Those people are completely missing the point," he says. "I'm not anti anything. It's just that the country music world is filled with all these clean cut, square jawed, boy next door types that look great in cowboy hats. Now don't get me wrong, there's an incredible amount of talent represented by those artists, but it just isn't me. For one thing, cowboy hats don't go with mullets and earrings, and I'm not about to give up either one. Besides, take a look at an old Johnny Cash album. You see him in a cowboy hat? You hear fiddles in every song break? I've got fiddles in 4 of the songs, and Amanda does a great job. As far as steel guitars, they give me a headache. I happen to think there's room for everyone in the tent. I have enough confidence in the country music fan base that if they think I have something worthy to say, they can let me say it without steel guitars and endless fiddles."
Al also likes to keep things light. "My approach to my music is that it is supposed to be entertainment. You take life seriously all the time. That's why I like to throw in things like Redneck Love Song and I Wish We Lived In The South. I have some more serious material, but I prefer to specialize in the more satirical numbers. Also, I want people to know that I don't take myself too seriously."
Al still lives and works in the tri-city area, where he continues to pursue his dream of having a musical career. "Being a family man in my mid 30's, it would be tough to drop everything and go out on the road," he has said, "unless, of course the situation was just right." The people that have seen Al perform live consistently give him high marks for his energy, and many people think that he could do quite well for himself as a full time performer. When informed of this, Al's response was instant: "If someone in the business is talking, I'm listening."
You can send Al an E-mail at [email protected]://www.tradebit.com.
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