Back in 1996, songwriter and New York native John Beltzer came up
with the idea to personalize songs for seriously ill children to
cheer them up and offer them hope.
That goal has resulted in more than 7,000 original songs composed,
free of charge, by the nonprofit charity, Songs of Love Foundation,
for children and teens in 350 hospitals nationwide.
The foundation has enlisted the help of 500 songwriters and singers
in their efforts. One of the songs, "Destiny's Song," appears on
"Medicine of Music - Country Compilation Volume I," a country album
just released that will benefit the work of the foundation.
The record includes singles by Buddy Jewell, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, Mark Wills, and Trace Adkins, but it also includes the song written and performed by Tammy Cochran, Deborah Allen, and Anita Cochran for Destiny Dawn Dyer, an 11-year-old in Nashville suffering from a rare bone disease.
For more information about the record and for information on
requesting a song for a sick child, go to www.songsoflove.org.
* * *
Toby Keith has always had a rocky relationship with his labels, now
he'll have no one to blame but himself if he's unhappy.
Keith, who ended his relationship with Universal Music Group and its
subsidiary DreamWorks Nashville earlier this summer, will release all future albums from his own label, Show Dog Nashville Records, which officially opened its doors yesterday.
Toby, one of country music's top entertainers, has sold more than 25
million records in his career. He's heading out on his own so he can
have complete control over his recordings.
"I made sure the first artist I signed was Toby Keith," Keith told
the Associated Press this week, saying he's confident others will
decide to take a chance with him. "I think we'll be able to sit back
and watch people jump over the wall into my nut house," he said.
* * *
Trisha Yearwood will be performing a special concert for Hurricane
Katrina victims today on The Today Show.
The Georgia native will be singing "The Song Remembers When,"
"Thinkin' About You," and "Georgia Rain."
Yearwood will be releasing her long-awaited album, "Jasper County,"
on Sept. 16.
* * *
And Tim McGraw will be co-headlining an hourlong hurricane benefit
for the American Red Cross that will air tonight at 8 on NBC, MSNBC,
and CNBC. The benefit will also feature performances by Harry
Connick, Jr., and Wynton Marsalis.
"I am heartbroken by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in
my home state. Like so many Americans I am watching the news reports with great sadness. But it's at times like these that each of us must work together to provide lifesaving aid to those in terrible need,"
says McGraw, who is from Start, La.
* * *
And finally, Johnny Van Zant, half of the Van Zant duo, learned this
week that he'll need surgery to remove a polyp on his vocal cord.
He had been hoping that rest would fix continued voice problems, but
it's been decided to proceed with the surgery, which will require a
"We're a team and I cannot do this without my brother. We've tried to
shut him up ever since he was 7 years old, but I'd never wish this on
him. I have faith that we'll be back before the year is out and
better than ever," brother Donnie says.
Van Zant moves up to No. 7 on this week's Radio and Records chart for their single, "Help Somebody."