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A Letter From Fred: "Sweet Lorraine"

A 95-year-old Peoria man writes a song for his late wife. It's a story you'll only see on WMBD 31.
PEORIA – A 95-year-old Peoria man isn’t a musician, but the lyrics he put on paper are now being shared with the world. It’s a story you’ll only see on WMBD 31.

Fred Stobaugh said, “I was sitting here one night, oh about six weeks after she passed away and just sat here kind of hummin’ a little bit and it just finally came to me.”

Stobaugh recently lost his wife of nearly 75 years. He said they shared a love of music.

He soon turned his sadness into a song. “We were, like, just as one we were. Lorraine and I.”

Singer and songwriter Jacob Colgan remembers receiving Fred’s letter. “What made Fred's entry so special was instead of a video, it was a large manila envelope titled Green Shoe Studio Singer Songwriter contest.”

It was an entry to his Studio’s songwriting contest. The kind of entry Jacob never expected. “He had written a song for his wife, ‘Sweet Lorraine’”

Fred’s song is about his life and his love for his wife. He said, “’Sweet Lorraine’ I called it. Wish we could do the good times all over again.”

Jacob said, “I started to read the lyrics and was so touched by the song and without even meeting Fred we thought, we're going to do something.”

Fred said, “And I was surprised. It wasn't too long that Jacob called me and it really touched him.”

Jacob said, “We wanted to put it to professional music and sing on it and he said, well you know that's great but I just don't have the money to cover it.”

With Fred’s blessing, Jacob wanted to bring his lyrics to life.

When Fred first heard the song, he cried. He said, “Wonderful, just wonderful.”

Fred said, “It just touched me. And I know Lorraine, she heard that too. It just has been a great life. If I could do over again, I would do it.”

Fred said he finds comfort in the sound of his song. It’s something he has to cherish forever.

He said, “The song really helps me. It really helps me. It just seemed like she's just sort of with me. Which I know she's smiling, she's smiling down and she likes that song, I know.”

“Sweet Lorraine” is available for purchase on iTunes. All of the proceeds from the song will help to support Fred.

The Green Shoe Studio first found Fred through its songwriting contest. You can watch the full-length documentary here.
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