Crescendo-The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town by Allen Cheney with Julie Cantrell

” Allen Cheney was born and raised in Thomasville Georgia. Ever close to his southern Georgia roots while navigating through his many creative endeavors in Los Angeles, Allen Cheney finds sharing his grandparents, Fred and Winnie Allen’s life story the pinnacle project for his career. “I have always had an unbelievable bond with my grandparents, Fred and Winnie Allen. They instilled in me a creative drive and dedication to excellence that has been the cornerstone for my success,” – Allen Cheney

“As I share the story of Fred Allen, I write not to tell you who he is but to examine why he is and to learn all we can from this musical prodigy, who overcame absolute brokenness to become one of the most influential music mentors ever known.” Prologue; Crescendo

” I’m very excited to announce the release of my first collaborative work of creative non-fiction, CRESCENDO, co-authored with Allen Cheney. I hope you’ll enjoy this inspirational story based on the lives of Fred and Winnie Allen as well as the incredible people (and music) of Thomasville, Georgia. “

The Grateful Reader Review: by Dorothy Schwab

In LaGrange, Georgia, 1935, Fred Allen is born; immediately deemed a caulbearer, due to a chalkey shroud over his head. Some called it “born behind the veil; others said the baby was cursed. Mayhayley Lancaster, teacher and oracle, but most importantly, midwife-life-giver and a godsend, was on hand to say, “Nonsense!” “You’re a special one, aren’t you?”

Lots of folks in this poor cotton mill town were suffering the devastating effects of the Depression. The evil behavior of many had a lifelong emotional impact on young Fred’s life. Born with the gift of playing music “by ear, a voice known as “heldentenor,” and handsome good looks, all carried Fred Allen to unbelievable places:  the Juilliard School in New York City, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, and eventually the professional music scene.  God certainly placed many people in Fred’s life as he climbed out of the drudgery of that small Georgia town: There was Noah, his grandfather and educator, Eleanor, recently out of prison who became his protector, and eventually the love of his life, Winnie Langley.

“We are the company we keep,” is proven over and over again as Allen Cheney and Julie Cantrell, share the true story of his grandparents. The belief of just one person can restore hope when one feels all is lost. Fred Allen who survived abuse, hunger & poverty; was saved by God’s mercy and grace, to have a lasting impact on thousands. He was surely a “Music Man” to many.

The author shares many letters of thanks and appreciation that were written to Fred Allen, his grandfather, and to Winnie, his grandmother. When the reader reflects on this body of “life work” surely a teacher or mentor will come to mind. Someone that should be thanked and appreciated for their love and belief in you, that was maybe that one spark of hope when needed most.

Crescendo is the true story of a musical genius. Authors Allen Cheney and Julie Cantrell have composed a beautiful score to accompany the life of Fred Allen. The Grateful Reader is soothed by the gentle gift of mercy and hope revealed in Crescendo. Miracles DO happen.

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