Country music singer-songwriter and best-selling children’s book author Billy Dawson has teamed up with Meridian Senior Living, headquartered in Bethesda, MD., to create the new series, ‘Seniors & Songwriters.’ This show brings songwriters to different Meridian Senior Living facilities across the country, where they play music and tell the stories behind their songs to appreciative senior citizens and the seniors get to share their life stories as well. The program does its best to interact with the community, offering friendship and more importantly, dignity. The first episode of the heartwarming series is being premiered by Sounds Like Nashville on Monday, February, 22 featuring Mr. Perkins, who is a 97-year-old American hero.
To watch the first episode of ‘Seniors & Songwriters’ and exclusive premiere above.
“I am so honored to be working with such an amazing group of people over at Meridian Senior Living and love getting to visit with their amazing residents. I have gone into assisted living facilities my whole life and have heard some of the most amazing stories from these kind folks,” says Dawson. “When some people walk into assisted living facilities they might just see older folks in wheelchairs sitting in the halls. When I walk in there I see heroes and young minds in older bodies that used to stand where I now stand, who have stories to tell. We have to get these stories of these seniors engraved into digital stone so that future generations may learn from them. I will never forget my family surrounding my Grandmother at an assisted living facility and when they started to sing old hymns it was as if her Alzheimer’s had disappeared for a few minutes. Music is powerful and these stories are powerful! There is a story behind every Senior and there are stories behind Songwriters and I’m so grateful to bring to you ‘Seniors & Songwriters’.”
“We at Meridian Senior Living are excited to work with Billy Dawson to capture some of the stories of those who live in our communities. There is so much unwritten history and wisdom and linking it with music will hopefully have an impact on our generations to come. I would also like to acknowledge Matt Cohn and Joey Rossetti at Hitfire Media and Steve Andrews for all of their hard work capturing this story,” expresses Kevin Carlin, Principal and Chief Sales Officer, Meridian Senior Living.
Celebrating Black History Month, Dawson has highlighted some of the unique, fascinating stories and perspectives of Mr. Perkins. Perkins was among the brave African Americans to fight for and champion civil rights in America. He served 40 years in the armed forces and went on to become a professor of Biological Sciences at Howard University. Dawson also showcases Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington D.C., which is a fixture in the city and was a safe place for those involved in the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mr. Perkins frequented the establishment during this time period since there were so few places for the African American community to go out to eat. Mr. Perkins’ knowledge and experience as well as his history intertwine with this historical establishment and for the first time, the story is being told to the world. Dawson describes Mr. Perkins as a man who “didn’t only witness change, but was the change himself.”
The Texas-bred, Nashville-based country artist and guitar virtuoso also released a lyric video and concept music video for his song “UNITE” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The song’s theme of inspiration and unity sends out a message of reconciliation and togetherness. “UNITE” shines a light of hope into the darkness during a time which we all need it most.