Updated: Oct 18, 2022
My father’s support is truly amazing, even posthumously. As we receive requests from teachers on behalf of their students, we pull together funds from different events that sometimes fall short of our goals regarding the gifts we would like to give. I am continually impressed and grateful for the support Dad still provides. The residual funds he receives from the Musicians Union, the film Industry and BMI help us fund many things we would not be able to purchase without his help. It’s as if he is still here helping us fulfill our mission, the one that carries his name in conjunction with his great-grandson Matthew. They are together in spirit through the foundation.
His was a truly historic and remarkable career. When checks come in, they list the projects he worked on to earn the ongoing commissions. They are classic works of entertainment and art and have stood the test of time. Song titles from artists such as Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Ronnie Milsap and Sammi Smith (to name a few) show up repeatedly, as do film contributions from Coal Miner’s Daughter, WW and the Dixie Dance Kings, and Smokey and the Bandit. I am also reminded that he was a part of the recording which is considered our state song and the battle cry for the Tennessee Volunteers, “Rocky Top.”
I have remarked to my husband many times how, “he is still taking care of me after all these years.” We do receive contributions from shows and other CD sales, but he is, and always will be, the top seller and single largest contributor to the students we serve. Through his continuing album sales (both online and CD sales at the shows), residual checks for recordings and films, and the credibility his name brings to our projects (which has inspired world class musicians to contribute their time and talent) he has blessed us with the opportunity to serve the visually impaired in a better way than we ever thought possible.
The lasting power of his legacy is a musical wonder. I feel like he is as unselfish from his seat in the hereafter with my mother as he was as a father and friend. I’ll end by simply saying: “Thanks Dad, you’re the best. We hope you are proud of the work you and your great grandson inspire us to do. We love you.”