Born on November 20, 1926, Eleanor was one of fourteen children. It became apparent at an early age that she had a special musical gift. Her parents were unable to afford formal music lessons; so her talent improved gradually and quite naturally, which was the miracle of her excellence in music.
After marriage to Harold Wright at age 18, her first public performance was with the Wright Family Ensemble. Over the years she performed with many groups, the most popular of which was the famous Blend-Wright Trio. They performed all over the United States, as well as in Bermuda and Switzerland.
Eleanor became an accomplished, professional singer, composer, pianist, and arranger in her own right. She has written approximately 200 songs, one has to say approximately because even now her heirs are still discovering melodies and lyrics inspired by God’s Spirit. Harold could tell you of the times when songs came to her in the middle of the night, with her tapping out the tempo in bed while reaching for anything (once it was a brown paper bag) on which to write the words, lest they be lost before daybreak.
Eleanor’s songs of experience and encouragement are written in a variety of styles, including anthems, children’s songs, gospels, and wedding songs. Many of them have been recorded and published.
The fascinating thing about Eleanor was that the same creativity which enabled her to accomplish so much in the field of music seemed to manifest itself on every level of her existence. When money was tight and she needed a painting to hang over the fireplace in her home, she painted it herself; when it was time to have her couch reupholstered, she did it herself; when she needed an extra long garment bag, she made it herself. She’s been known to make all sorts of things – from wedding gowns and bedspreads to piano benches and music stands. In our convenience-oriented society, it was truly refreshing to know an avid do-it-yourselfer like Eleanor. Her ability to improvise was positively uncanny! Her other interests and hobbies were: gardening, word games and baking. People have traveled many miles just for a slice of her banana cream pie; her homemade pecan rolls were unequalled; and her strawberry shortcake always had rave reviews from coast to coast. Eleanor’s family was and is continually astounded at her creativity and ingenuity.
Eleanor’s close friends and loved ones knew that while she had accomplished many wonderful things for God, she had not escaped the vicious attacks of the enemy of God, who is the enemy of our souls as well. Somehow, through it all, God helped her to rise above incredibly hard times. Her strength lay in her commitment to serving and honoring God above all else. In one of her songs, she expressed her view on her own life:
And I survey
The rugged road I’ve had to travel
Day by day,
There’s been many a hill to climb
And many a storm to brave.
But if I reach heaven
And that’s all I’ve had to pay
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That song became sort of a theme song for Eleanor and her family, for as they continue to understand exactly what it is saying to each of them, it helps them come through the worst of trials victoriously – not merely undefeated, but victorious – still praising God and giving Him the glory!
When Eleanor talked about her instrument, the piano, she seemed to be concerned about the quality of the tone and its responsiveness to her touch. When she found one that responded well, her face became radiant at the discovery of an instrument which would serve to enhance the message she longed to share through her music. God must have had a similar experience when Eleanor first responded to His touch. He found in her such a marvelous mode of expression and thus, gave her some of the most powerful messages in song the world has ever heard. For instance: she sang of humility in “I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO”; of thankfulness in “I LIVE BECAUSE HE DIED”; of hope and determination in “HALLELUJAH, HOME AT LAST!”
I don’t know exactly what God thinks when He considers His servant, Eleanor; but surely her service to Him brings joy to all of heaven. As for me, and what I think of her, all I can say is, “Oh, what an instrument!”
– Carla Wright