Grayson Hugh

Grayson Hugh first burst on the scene in 1988 with his RCA album "Blind To Reason".  The album spawned several international hits as well as popular music videos and eventually went Gold in both the U.S. and overseas. Hugh's unique blending of classic soul styles, poetic lyrics along with his high energy piano playing, charmed radio and concert audiences around the world. 

His second record "Road To Freedom", was also acclaimed, making many top ten lists (including Billboard Magazine) and garnering feature articles by music critics. Pulitzer Prize-winning Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote: "Have I heard any newcomer in the last decade that excites me as much as this guy? No." (Miami Herald, October 19, 1992). "Road To Freedom" caught the attention of Hollywood as well. Director Ridley Scott requested the use of two of Hugh's songs for the film "Thelma and Louise". Jon Avnet asked Hugh to record a version of Bob Dylan's song "I'll Remember You". for the film "Fried Green Tomatoes". The resulting arrangement and performance by Hugh closes the film with "a gospel assault that could raise the dead" (Peanuts, The Cleveland Sun, December 3, 1992).

The 2010 release of "An American Record" heralded the return to the public eye and ear of Grayson Hugh. After many turbulent years that included disastrous dealings with a mercenary music industry, a stint as professor of songwriting at Berklee College Of Music in Boston and a near fatal relapse with alcohol in 2000, Hugh has emerged sober, stronger and more prolific than ever. In the words of one writer: "With An American Record, the payoff is just beginning. Grayson Hugh has been there and is back again. His story - our story - has to be heard." (Robert Doerschuk, CMA (May 10, 2010).
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Hugh first met singer Polly Messer in 1980, when she was singing with the swing band Eight To The Bar. Grayson's good friend Ron Scalise had produced both of their first records ("Grayson Hugh" and "This Joint Is Jumpin"). Ron would rave about this girl Polly and her voice, so Grayson had to hear her live. Impressed with what he called "that Polly-tone",  Hugh asked Polly to sing backup vocals in his band The Wild Tones in 1982. The two became friendly during their subsequent many rehearsals and did performances in New York (the legendary Gerde's Folk City) and live television (CPTV's "In Performance" concerts series). Polly and Ron ended up getting married in 1988, just as Hugh's recording career was taking off. Though they all remained friends, Polly and Grayson led their seperate lives. Polly and Ron had a child in 1991 but were divorced in 1994. As a single mother, Polly returned to college and received a degree in Art (with a triple major) from Western Connecticut State University in her home town of Danbury. She showed her work at several galleries and sang briefly with a New York-based rockabilly band Eugene Chrylser. But longed to sing with Grayson again. 

The opportunity came when, in 2006, she happened to hear that Grayson was recording a new album. She contacted him and the two reignited their friendship. When she asked to sing on the album, Hugh told her there was no money for a harmony singer. Polly offered to sing for free. At the first vocal session in January 2007, the chemistry began to grow beyond the musical and they were married in August 2008. Co-producing "An American Record", the two began a musical collaboration that has taken them to concert stages around the world.
Grayson is currently writing songs for his next record which will be released sometime in 2014.