Grandson Finds Grandfather’s Long-Lost WWII Band Music—And He Wants To Win Them A Grammy

grandson finds grandfather's world war ii album
CBS Sacramento

A man whose grandfather recorded music in the closing days of World War II is working to bring that music back—and to attempt winning a Grammy in the process.

According to a CBS Sacramento story, Jason Burt was looking for recordings that his grandfather, Richard Burt, did while he in an Army band in the Philippines during World War II.

When his family finally ran across the recordings, Jason was thrilled to discover that the records still played and sounded good.

“It was the most amazing feeling because it’s just a piece of history. It’s 75 years old. You don’t expect it to work 75 years later,” he said. “These guys were in a war zone when they were recording themselves in a performance tent.”

Richard did go on to study at Julliard and spend decades as a school band teacher in West Sacramento. But now, Jason wants to bring his grandfather’s WWII music into the modern era and make sure it gets to as many people as possible.

“His skill and solos on the recordings were extraordinary for someone so young, and made it clear why he would graduate from Juilliard, after the war,” recalled Jason, according to the Good News Network. “When the last song on the album ended, it was clear what I needed to do.”

The Good News Network report notes that “working tirelessly with two of the best sound engineers in the music industry, he produced the recordings into a full-length album that features his grandpa telling the story of the band’s time in the Pacific, and nine minutes of historical film of the band practicing in the Philippines.”

Jason says he is “relentless” in pursuit to earn a Best Historical Album Grammy nomination in 2022 for his grandfather’s wartime band.

To that end, they’ve partnered with the USO for a fundraiser that aims to sell a million albums.

“If you want to help my grandpa reach the pinnacle of today’s musicianship and raise money for the USO, you can own a piece of history by downloading a copy of the album on the 746th Band Website.”

“Everyone likes to talk about the battles and stuff like that during the war,” Jason told CBS Sacramento. “But you never hear about the band during the war and what those guys did. Their role in the war was to make people feel like they were a little closer to home. They played a big role for morale.”

h/t: Good News Network


Written by Phil West