Music in the Family

The Cut Outs (L to R: Grandpa Gleason, Ralph, Bill, and Bill) in 1961.

Grandpa Gleason was in several bands over the years. I believe playing music was the greatest joy of his life.

Great Aunt Carrie at the piano with Uncle Vincent.

Playing music runs in my mom’s family. Her parents and siblings all played guitar. Grandpa Gleason also played the banjo and the fiddle while Uncle Steve branched out to the drums.

L to R: Jack, Grandma Gleason, Great Aunt Carrie, Grandpa Gleason, and Great Uncle Johnny.

Grandpa and Grandma Gleason played anywhere they could. Grandpa would enter, and often win, local guitar playing contests (I’m told he was eventually asked to stop competing so other people would have a chance at winning). He was one of those people who could listen to a song once and start playing it.

Great Uncle Johnny often wore those fake ears during live performances.

I feel like Great Uncle Johnny and I would have gotten along really well.

The Cut Outs (L to R: Grandpa Gleason, Bill, Ralph, and Bill).

One of Grandpa’s bands was The Cut Outs. They recorded a 45 with two tracks on it. Grandpa wrote an instrumental called, State Line, that appeared on the B-side.

Cover of copyright document.

I’ve never heard the song Grandpa recorded, but while trying to find it online, I came across the 1965 copyright listing for State Line.

Copyright listing for the song State Line that Grandpa Gleason wrote and recorded with The Cut Outs in 1965.

The document reads: STATE LINE; m Donald Gleason. © Donald Gleason; 18Aug65; EU898591.

L to R: Grandma Gleason, Grandpa Gleason, Bill, and Janet in 1961.

When I was a kid I knew Grandpa played music, but it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. Now, I wish I could go back and watch him play and appreciate how he poured his heart and soul into it. I think I would’ve had a stronger relationship with him if I’d known how much music meant to him and how much it would come to mean to me.

By Justin

I was an only child.