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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

A love of music yields music of love

Monday, July 7, 2003

(Photo)
Grady Lutes serenades his wife, Teresa, with the song he wrote about their relationship called "Bridge of Love."
(Staff Photo)
MORLEY -- It's no secret that music comes naturally to Grady Lutes. Since he was 4 years old, the now 32-year-old has been playing the guitar -- and, amazingly, has never had one lesson.

"Any man can go get lessons and get the notes, but only those with God-given talent can play music. God implanted the talent in me and I give all my praise and glory to God," Lutes said.

In June, the country and gospel musician sent the lyrics of his five original songs to Majestic Records, and much to his surprise, he received a response only two weeks later.

"They said out of the five songs, one of them stuck out," Lutes said. "It was 'Bridge of Love.'"

"Bridge of Love" is about two people meeting each other and not having anything, Lutes said. Lutes and his wife have been living on a fixed income of $500 a month for 13 years, he said.

"I started thinking about the song in May and wrote it at the beginning of June," Lutes noted. "I wrote it for my wife. She's my world. She's my best friend."

Majestic Records President Dennis Coughlan verified Lutes as a recipient of a recording contract from the Linden, Texas, corporation which has been in business for 28 years. However, Coughlan said production hasn't started on any of Lutes' music.

"I'm proud of him," Teresa Lutes said about her husband. "I've always told him: 'The Lord has given you a gift, and you need to use it.' He can pick up any instrument and within 10 minutes, he knows how to play it."

Life for Lutes hasn't been very easy either. When Lutes was 8 years old, his father died of cancer.

"It made me hard," Lutes said. "My father and I were very close. Then I met my wife, and she's been my backbone."

Years ago, an illness forced Lutes to become disabled and out of work, he said. Over the course of their marriage, the Morley couple has even spent some nights in the dark because they couldn't pay their electric or gas bills, he said.

Through it all, Lutes has always had his wife and family to depend on for strength and love.

"They've been so supportive of my music," Lutes said about his in-laws and continued: "Especially my father-in-law, Allen Harp. He told me, 'With that talent, you've got to go somewhere."

Lutes said an official with Majestic Records told him it was very seldom they find a person in the music business whose got such a strong religious faith. He also told Lutes that his songs didn't have to be rewritten, which is rare because most songs have to be rewritten, Lutes recalled.

While country music has always been a favorite of Lutes, it's gospel music he prefers to sing and write today.

"I like country music because it can touch your heart -- and it's that way with gospel music too, except that it also touches a spot in your soul like nothing else can," Lutes explained.

Once production begins, Lutes said the song will be composed three different ways: gospel, country and Texas/bluegrass. The song style that sells the best is the one the record company will go with.

"My grandpa always told me that a man can only do what a man thinks he can," Lutes said. "And that's true."

Lutes currently plays with the Sounds of Glory Gospel Singers and as for what the future has in store for him, he doesn't know.

"I feel fortunate -- whether I make it big or not," Lutes said. "No matter what, I'm still me. I'll still be the same Grady Lutes."