One of our very own born and raised here in Cumming GA has a legacy of generations of family and friends who play country and bluegrass music. Put these in the hands of somebody with undying love of bluegrass and vocal talent to match, and you have singer Frances Westray-Mooney.
Frances grew up in a musical family, her mother Ruth Looper-Westray and father, Roy Westray would play at various school auditoriums, Radio shows and even house concerts. Frances didn't show interest until around 17 years of age her uncle Gary Looper taught her to play guitar and that's where it all began.
In the early 70's Frances along with Gary formed their first band, "Bluegrass Generation" which took them to Louisville KY performing many states into Canada at festivals, amusement parks, state fairs and clubs.
Back to Georgia around 1978 Frances would get together with all her family to include her sister, Wanda Westray-Cook, her family and my children, Matthew & Mark Mundy to pick and sing with family & friends.
The soul and heart, and a commitment that has taken Frances down bluegrass roads over 48 years, make her somebody people stand up and pay attention to, and it happens wherever the band plays. Frances isn’t afraid of the emotion that makes a song poignant, lonely, or up beat.
Frances and her band has been nominated several times for Bass player, Vocal Group and Female Vocalist of the year with Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).
Bluegrass music has taken her all over the US, Canada and into Shanghai China. In 2006 and 2009 Frances with a group of women called Daughters Of Bluegrass recorded 2-CD's that won "Recorded Event of the Year" with the International Bluegrass Music Association. Frances has led Georgia-based groups to regional popularity, and with Fontanna Sunset, Frances is still going strong. During her time in music Frances managed to have a 17 year career with Georgia Department of Juvenile here in Cumming GA and now retired. Current members of Frances Mooney & Fontanna Sunset are Rickey Rakestraw, Brian Morgan and Joe Kimsey. Our Motto "It's Gotta Be Bluegrass"
The Cumming Playhouse is always proud to host our own very special talented successes to the Playhouse Stage.