Monday, January 25, 2016


Several folks have written and asked me about the bronze star I wear the lower part of my jacket.

Let me explain:

My father died about five days before I was born. My step father was a very fine man, but when I found out about my real dad when I was 12 years old, he became a striking mystery to me. As I grew up, I found that I missed him greatly, wished he was nearby, longed to know what the sound of his voice was like when he called my name.

The very first male relative I met of my father's was my son, MichaelB. When he was born and finally opened his eyes, I saw ... for the very first time ... a reflection of my own father.

Eventually I went on a search for my dad's past and his family and finally found them. My cousin, Laddie, became very proactive in seeking out belongings and artifacts of my dads.

One of them was my father's bronze star.

I do not wear it on my chest as the star is not mine. I put it on my lower jacket as a tribute to my father. I wear it, not as a military or political statement, not as a pro or con statement of any kind. I wear it in honor of my father who earned it. It let's him be with me when I am on stage ... and I find it comforting.

I always wondered what our relationship would be like. Would he like me? Would he be proud of me? Would we be close as a father and son should be?

All I know is this: if I was to leave this life I would hope my son would love me enough to publicly remember me and be proud of me. This I am doing for my father.



Perry Brake said...

Thanks for sharing that Michael

Perry Brake said...

Thanks for sharing Michael

Manuel Bettencourt said...

Michael, As a Vietnam veteran and Bronze Star recipient, I would like to think that your father would certainly be proud of your many accomplishments. I think your son would always wear a WoodSongs emblem to honor you. Or maybe his grandfather's Bronze Star.

Manuel Bettencourt said...

P.S. I, also, had a fine step-father but my father died when I was five.

Manuel Bettencourt said...

P.S. I had a fine step-father, but my father died when I was five.

Katherine Tandy Brown said...

Hi Michael, A voice from your Lexington past...You did me the honor of inviting me to a recording session years ago at Toys in the Attic with Jean Ritchie, Ricky Skaggs, et al, and even let me drive Odetta back to her hotel afterwards. Truly a treasure of a memory, thank you! I also wrote several stories about you and Woodsongs in KY Living and The Lane Report. I'm delighted to see you're still out there making music and making a difference in the world, though I'd assumed you would be!
A question for you - I've been playing my dad's guitar since he gave it to me just before he passed away back in 1973. Unfortunately, I've stopped playing for the same reason he did...finger joint issues. It's a lovely guitar and I'd like to find a home for it with someone who will play it and love it.
Several years ago, I had it appraised on Antiques Roadshow when I volunteered for the show for a day in Myrtle Beach. The appraiser, who owns a guitar shop in Kansas City, loved it. The guitar is a Gibson LG2 47 Sunburst that's in 90 - 95% condition (It was born the same year I was...I get that!) and is in its original guitar case with Dad's capo.
My question - Do you know of anyone who might be interested in this guitar? I have photos I can send if you'd like to take a look at it. This is definitely a yes or no, Michael, but I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have on it.
My best to you, Katherine (Kathy, back then!) Tandy Brown

Michael Johnathon said...

Hi Kathy, email me at