Gregg Martinez '74
Gregg was born and raised in the heart of the Cajun country of south Louisiana. As a boy of eight, he began singing in his home church.
Gregg attended St. Francis Seminary for two years in the early '70s. He was a fair guitarist, average student, and an incredible singer. When the Glee Club performed at other high schools, the girls in the audience behaved as if they were hearing Elvis. Gregg's enthusiasm, love of music, and humor came through in his songs. However, his talent and sense of humor got him in trouble one Picnic Day when he and Alfie Baca ('72) performed a very funny adaptation of "Folsom Prison Blues." A few of the lyrics bothered one of the faculty members (but everyone else nearly died laughing). Joe Bessler ('75) penned the clever lyrics:
"I hear the cars a-honkin' out on ol' Mill Road, screamin' and a-rushin' by, goin' where they want to go...
But I'm stuck in St Francis prison and time keeps draggin' on.
And I hope it ain't much longer before I'm goin' home.
When I was just a young boy, my Mama asked me please, "Be a money-maker and never hang 'round priests." But I never made my millions, so they threw me in jail. But they didn't want me either, so I got stuck in here.
Now the chain can be broken, we can do it right today, if you vote for T Baca ('72) for Big Chief on Picnic Day...
And now my story's over, I'm afraid I've reached the end.
And St Francis will be a prison until T Baca wins."
At 18, Gregg ventured into the world to become a professional singer, entertainer, and band leader. For the next 15 years his success took him to large casinos, nightclubs, hotels, and resorts all around the country.
By 1986, he had signed a million dollar recording agreement and an exclusive contract to appear at Donald Trump's casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. He believed his "big break" in the entertainment business had come - fame and riches. However, his personal life was soon in shambles due to alcohol, drug abuse, a marriage wrecked by divorce, and severe depression.
Then God answered the prayers of Gregg's family and friends. Gregg asked the Lord to change him. God gave Gregg a new heart and called him forever from the lifestyle he had been living. Gregg's marriage was restored as he and his wife, Janet, were remarried. They have three children (Aimee, Brittany, and James) and reside in Archer City, TX.
Now Gregg focuses most of his efforts on providing an Outreach program for young people. He shares the lessons he has learned in life and makes a difference in people's lives. There's no charge for the Outreach sessions; as with Francis, free-will offerings are accepted.
These are some quotes from adults and students who have heard him speak and sing:
"He is able to come down to a level and understand the struggles we, as teenagers, face"
"Gregg Martinez' music ministers to people of all ages"
"He is a true friend to young people"
"A strong powerful voice with an even stronger message"
"Gregg Martinez is real. When he ministers, Jesus always receives the glory"
"His music, life, and personality are all used by God to reach a segment of our culture that few people have the ability to reach"
Gregg's most recent recordings:
Wonders Never Cease - 1991
Love Has a Voice - 1993
They That Wait - 1997
All the Days “ 2001
Christmas “ 2002
Gregg gave the Franciscan Alumni Association permission to include selections of his music on the Glee Club CDs.
You can see and hear more about Gregg at his website. There you can also hear samples of his songs and order his CDs.