Love for music is on both sides of Brenda's family. Her grandmother sang
and played pump organ for her little country church in North Texas. Her
mom played guitar as a young girl, and her father was a devoted fan of country
music. Weekends would find the family enjoying the music of legendary
Texas bands such as The Texas Top Hands and Adolph Hofner & the Pearl
|Brenda doesn't remember a time in her life when she wasn't singing;
first, in school choirs, then at folk masses, and eventually with Cactus
Country. She began playing piano at age 8 and learned guitar at age
12. By 1973 she was singing and playing guitar for the 10:30 mass every
Sunday at St. Benedict's Catholic Church. There she met her future
husband, Tony Franckowiak, who played guitar at the same mass.
On May 11,
1975, Brenda and Tony, along with Brenda's brother, E.J. Dlugosh (bass), and friend
Billy Graef (drums) performed as Cactus Country for the first time -- playing at their
church's annual festival.
Brenda and Tony continue to play for Sunday mass,
now at Holy Trinity Catholic Church (http://www.holytrinitysat.org).
They recorded a CD, "Our Music," featuring songs selected by
their fellow parishioners that has sold almost 5000 copies. Brenda
released a XMAS CD for Holy Trinity in Dec 2003 that has received a great
response from across the USA.
Brenda loves all types of music, especially
harmony-laden songs of groups from the past such as Alabama, Restless Heart, and the Beach
Boys. She also enjoys the traditional sounds of Patsy Cline and George Strait
as well as current favorites, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, and Taylor
Swift (John's favorite).
Brenda sings a ballad at a
wedding in summer 2009