Character Theme Songs: Portrait of Gray

Last Updated on August 1, 2018 by Palessa D

Portrait of Gray, Baxter Family Saga by Palessa - Grayson Baxter's story of love, tragedy, secrets and redemptionWhen I did the first character theme song post, it felt smoother. I’ve been living with the Baxter Family Saga for years now (and won’t stop anytime soon) but the story of Unchained Hearts, the characters and their drama have dug deep. I was able to really pin down the songs that were in my head.

Portrait of Gray, the story of Grayson Baxter, is a bit more complicated because it’s so emotional. Which shouldn’t be a problem because songs are emotional, right?

Turns out the exact opposite happened. There are so many songs that can go with any of the characters at any given point in their journey that I had too many songs to think of.

Research, I did and let me just say I found plenty of songs that I had forgotten or didn’t even know existed!


It’s a great (re)discovery and helped me find some great theme songs to share as well as some new perspectives.


Grayson Baxter

Grayson Baxter Theme Song: No Son Of Mine - Portrait of Gray

No Son of Mine

It’s Been A WhileGrayson Baxter Character Theme Song: It's Been A While - Portrait of Gray

Of course, this entire story is Grayson’s but the moments that just stick out for me are the times he was finally on the recovery path. Having known someone who went through that and having a tangential role in that story, I felt strongly about that phase. It’s Been A While was one of those songs I’d forgotten about. For that time when Grayson was at the clinic, it was like he was awakening. He was finally standing on his own, head clear, feeling like he had to find a purpose.

Going back to when he was still hooked, I remember, No Son of Mine from Genesis. It’s a song about words a father said to his son upon coming home. Julian never said anything like that to Grayson. But Grayson felt it and that’s why I chose the song. Grayson felt as if he wasn’t Julian’s son even though his father never said that to him but…you’ll have to read to find out what happened there.

Jared “Jerry” Fairclough

Jerry Character Theme Song: Russian Roulette- Portrait of Gray

Russian Roulette

Jerry Character Theme Song: In The Air Tonight- Portrait of Gray

In The Air Tonight


Jerry has been a friend to Grayson since they met in a posh private school. From the age of 14 until about 10 years later, he shared Grayson’s life as his confidant and dealer. Jerry’s talent was in mixing and just creating newer, better ways to get high. He played the ultimate game of life and death and brought Grayson along with him. I liked Russian Roulette because it’s a haunting song with a visceral beat. In the Air Tonight is another haunting song that tells of that moment Grayson’s been waiting for all of his life, whether he realized it or not.


Bindi Gail

Bindi Gail Character Theme Song: Wildflower - Portrait of Gray


Bindi Gail Character Theme Song:  Jesus to a Chilld - Portrait of Gray

Jesus To A Child


Bindi’s story is one of someone who took life on a bit too much and took it too seriously. She’s also a magnet for drama because she is this wildflower who has this weight on her. In rehab, she’s learning to be honest, to not hold things inside. That scene where she asks Grayson what she did to make him dislike her so much was pure Bindi honesty. Her love for Grayson was pure and innocent but they were destined to be rocking back and forth. And that’s what happened and it hurt them both in the worst way.

Carla Genny

Carla Genny Character Theme Song: Close My Eyes- Portrait of Gray width=

Close My Eyes

Carla Genny Character Theme Song: Soulmate - Portrait of Gray


Carla’s brief appearance and mention in Unchained Hearts was a spur of the moment that turned out so great. She had a difficult relationship that was exacerbated by her family ties. It left her in a vulnerable place for a while after she decided to end it. Close My Eyes is one of those amazing songs by Mariah Carey that didn’t fit her pop image.

It’s a bit darker and more contemplative. It’s about recovering and catching yourself before you go over that edge. Then when she gives herself a chance, she opens up to Grayson and contemplates the possibility that there’s so much more to them than just curiosity. But then he commits a helluva sin.

Caleb Johnson

Caleb Johnson Character Theme Song: Stayin Alive- Portrait of Gray

Stayin’ Alive

Caleb Johnson Character Theme Song: Crazy - Portrait of Gray



When I think of Caleb, I think of that cocky dude that’s a mixture of Vinny Barbarino and Chips. He thinks he’s a woman’s man and is the kind of guy who’d swear a woman wanted him just because she was polite. But there’s more to Caleb than some carefree-looking, careless, wannabe player.  He has a tragedy that made him lose his mind once and then one more time after that.

Carl Weatherly

 Carl Weatherly Character Theme Song: Wild Boys Portrait of Graywidth=
Wild Boys


Carl is a cool character. He’s a semi-major character but he’s inspired by Carl Weathers’ character in Street Justice. I had such a crush on him and Bryan Gennesse back in the day. You’d assume that Bad Boys was the song that would pop into my head when dealing with a cop from the eighties. Nope. It was Duran Duran.

Zach Bramwell



Zach’s return complicates Carla’s life and that’s great for me but not so much for her. I haven’t seen the movie Suicide Squad but I heard Heathens by Twenty One Pilots and immediately thought of Zach. It’s haunting and mellow at the same time. That’s how Zach can be until he gets out of control. Seal’s Crazy has always been a favorite of mine It’s the first encounter with Seal and I am thankful for it. This song is very stream-of-consciousness. That’s how Zach’s experiencing the world and his memories of Carla, which aren’t necessarily real.

Virgilia Avery

You Won’t See Me Cry


In Portrait of Gray, we see another angle of Virgilia dealing with Cass’ disappearance since the story is tangential to Unchained Hearts. Virgilia becomes more of a supporting character but there’s a scene when she breaks down and this song just has the feeling of that moment. It’s the slow agony of trying to let go while trying keep everything in check and failing. That’s what was going on with Virgilia at the time

Joan Baxter

Cold As Ice


Joan continues to be the harbinger. But now, she’s colder than ever and we see a deeper response from Grayson. There’s a line in this song by Foreigner about regret. This is a point that I get more into in Book 4 during a particular scene.

Julian Baxter

Living Years


Another song I’ve always loved about a father-son relationship. Literally, this song doesn’t apply to Julian in Portrait of Gray but there are the lines about the frustrations of past generations beating down the door of the current generation. That’s the Baxter family in a perfect, little nutshell. It’s that legacy of lies and secrets that weighs. I think Julian suspected that was the root of Grayson’s problems and it weighed on him.

Damian Patterson



This song is by Kelly Clarkson (not the P!nk version but it was a toss up) and it’s from her My December album which got little or no support from her label, unfortunately. This song I heard on Pandora one day and loved it. It’s darker than she was being marketed as back then but the lyrics are meaningful. There’s a line about catching a glimpse of yourself and that’s the choice Damian offered Grayson and everyone else at his rehab. Sobreity was what Damian promised he could deliver.


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