Audra Mae Brock
By Wise Funeral Home
Sep 6, 2017
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Bonham, Texas -- Audra Mae Brock, at 93 years old, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in Sherman, Texas.

Audra was born in Bailey, Texas in 1923 to Joseph and Clara (Oates) Brock. She grew up in Fannin County going to the 3-P school (3rd Precinct) during the Depression. After high school, she attended North Texas College in Denton, Texas and returned to Bailey to care for her parents while working at the Bonham State Bank. After her parents passed, she made her home in Bonham where she was very active in the community and where she attended Bonham First Baptist Church most of her adult life.

As a child, while living in Bailey she met her future co-worker,  music collaborator, and lifetime best friend Ruby Allmond.  Audra lived “within shouting distance” of Ruby and her family, and remembers being able to hear Ruby’s family in the front yard playing music. After she and Ruby became good friends, Audra recognized that Ruby had a real talent and wanted to help preserve her music. Audra bought a reel-to-reel tape machine to record Ruby’s songs and even learned how to play the drums to help Ruby keep rhythm. In a makeshift home studio in Audra's yard, which was an eight by twelve building, the duo recorded Ruby’s songs. Audra said that each of them had their own side of the studio: Ruby had her end with guitar, fiddles, amplifiers, and microphone while Audra had her own side with the tape machine and drums.

In 1968, Audra and Ruby decided to take some of Ruby’s songs to Nashville, Tennessee. This was only one of the many trips the duo took to Nashville, with demo tapes in hand, to show off Ruby's talent as a Texas songwriter. Over the years Audra and Ruby got the attention of Chet Atkins, Dottie West and singer/songwriter Cindy Walker publishing numerous songs such as "Reno" and "I Mustn't Pass This Way Again."

In 2003, after Ruby met with Dr. James Conrad from Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Special Collections Department, Ruby agreed that Audra could submit her music to the University's Collection. The two began a collection of songs but never completed the project prior to Ruby's death in 2006. Audra dedicated much of the last 10 years working on assembling some of Ruby's songs into this collection. The songs were compiled into a 2-CD set and a book containing the lyrics, the songs, and a forward written by Audra about Ruby and her music.

Audra also began the Ruby Allmond Songwriting Contest sponsored by the Special Collections Department at Texas A&M University-Commerce and Bonham businesses. The Special Collections Department also has a collection of Ruby's pictures, clothing and miscellaneous items, all donated by Audra.

Audra is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and was preceded in death by two  sisters and five brothers.

A graveside interment will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Arledge Ridge Cemetery.  The family will receive friends, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, one hour prior to the service at Wise Funeral Home.

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