Page 96 - 96-Year-Old Man's Ballad For Wife, 'Oh Sweet Lorraine,' Makes Top 10
The ninth most download song (via iTunes) in America right now isn't the latest track from Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, it isn't even an up-and-coming indie band scoring their first hit single. No the man behind the ninth most popular track in America right now is none other than Fred Stobaugh!
'Now wait a minute, who the heck is Fred Stobaugh?' You must be thinking to yourself. Well, Fred Stobaugh is a 96-year-old man who is still as much in love with his wife as he was the day he married her all the way back in 1940. 'Oh Sweet Lorraine' is a tender little ditty by the pensioner that clocks in at just under 2 minutes and it just might be the pure and heartfelt love song to have come out this century.
Written by Fred, who has no prior musical exposure or much experience playing/performing, following the death of his wife of 73 years in April this year, Fred decided to enter the song into a local songwriting contest he saw advertised in his local paper. He mailed his handwritten lyrics over to Green Shoe Studio, the company running the contest, but hit a stumbling block as his song couldn't be accepted in the competition as it was for digitally submitted songs only. Still, so moved were Green Shoe by the letter they received explaining Fred's story, they decided to record the song for him anyway and they made a little documentary about it in the process.
“She was just the prettiest girl I ever saw. Real timid-like. I just fell in love with her right there,” Fred said of his wife, who he met in 1938. The couple, who would have celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in June, went on to have three children and four grandchildren and a marriage that was clearly held together by an unconditional feeling of love.
“After she passed away, I was just sitting in the front room one evening by myself, and it just came right to me,” he continued whilst discussing the song. “I just kept humming it and singing it. That’s how I came to write it. It just fit her.”
The track really is a moving one, and you can hear it above in the mini-documentary about the song, but be warned, it might make you cry.