Bringing the music home

courtesy photo Former Rangely resident Billy ‘Bayou’ Brenton’s new album, “Visions of Yesterday,” includes an original song about his alma mater, Rangely High School.

RANGELY | Billy “Bayou” Brenton sounds like he just rolled in from Louisiana, but he’s still got a heart for his hometown, so much so that one of his original songs on his latest CD is about Rangely High School.
William Brenton’s family moved to Rangely when he was 3-years-old.
“We lived in a small wood floor tent covered structure for one year before we could get a house when my father went to work for Standard Oil Co.,” Brenton wrote. After that the family moved into one of the oil camps.
Brenton was graduated from Rangely High School in 1961, and then went to work in the oil field until he joined the air force on July 6, 1964. phrg-billy-brenton-cd
“I spent four years in the service. I spent one tour of duty in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. When I came back I was stationed at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, Ala., until 1968.”
Following his time in the military, Brenton became an over-the-road truck driver. During that time he started writing songs, and he hasn’t stopped.
Brenton said he “had a yearning” to come home to Rangely, but never got to do so.
“In 1986 they built the new high school and tore the old Rangely High School down. I was traveling across Wyoming one night and the feeling (to go home) came upon me. I stopped at Baggs on I-80 and God let me write the song about Rangely High School.”
A few years later he recorded his first CD, a collection of trucking songs titled “That Ribbon of Darkness.” Years went by and Brenton finally had the opportunity to fulfill his dream of recording the song about RHS, along with several other original songs.
“I named the album ‘Visions of Yesterday’ and dedicated my CD to all my RHS friends and also to Capt. Mark G. Danielson, and to all of my Vietnam veteran friends. Mark was our classmate and also graduated in 1961.”
Brenton resides in Alabama, where he still owns and operates a trucking company, but he’s able to get back to Rangely more often these days.
Brenton’s CDs are available by mail for $10 each plus $5 shipping. To order send a check or money order to Billy (Bayou) Brenton, PO Box 25, Ider, Ala. 35981 or call 256-996-2406.