Sweet love, sweet musicPublished 5:54pm Thursday, July 18, 2013
The day she met her friend’s brother, Mary Frances Walls was picking tobacco at her uncle’s farm on the south side of the river. It was summertime. And it was love at first sight. He joined the Air Force right after graduation from Bath High School. She left her Blounts Creek home to go with him, a new bride of 16.
Fifty-two years later, Frances Cayton has three sons, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She’s still married to the man of her dreams, Guy, and with his encouragement, recently recorded a song written just for her — about life and love and the promise of forever.
She’s a self-taught musician — plays guitar and sings — and the song written for her by recording engineer Chad Muncy, of Nashville East Studios in Winston-Salem, is in true American country style, a la Patsy Cline. Muncy and Guy Cayton are partners in the recording business, and the Caytons’ long-lasting love the inspiration for “Forevermore.”
“One day, we were going to the studio and Guy told me that Chad had written a song and he wanted me to sing it,” Cayton said. “I was really impressed when I heard it — it brought it tear to my eye.”
The Caytons spent a long time playing music together, as a family. Frances, Guy and their three boys, all of them self-taught, would play dances and family reunions, at senior centers and other gatherings.
“We started playing music when my youngest was 8 the oldest was 14,” Guy Cayton explained. “Frances started playing the guitar to help in the band … (it was) great family time and made us a tight family.”
The tradition carried right back home to the banks of the Pamlico.
“We’d go down to the HeeHaw House by the river, play and have the best time with my sisters and brothers-in-law,” Cayton said, reminiscing about the family-owned building, lined with old church pews, where they’d get together and make some music. “We played country (music). We didn’t know there was any other kind.”
Though she and Guy still visit Blounts Creek, it’s been a long time since the family has sat down to play music together, but it’s something she’d love to be able to do. “That would be neat to be able to do it one more time,” Cayton said.
As for fame, should it come knocking when “Forevermore” is discovered, Cayton said it might just be the thing to get her out in the limelight again.
“I haven’t performed for a long time in the public, but there’s no reason I couldn’t,” she laughed.
“Forevermore” by Mary Frances Cayton can be heard at www.NashvilleEast.com and purchased on iTunes.