Photo Courtesy of JO DARLING PHOTOGRAPHY (From Left To Right): Jimmy Nichols (Producer), Bonnie Carroll (TAPS Founder & President), Frank Myers (Producer)
Author: Lois Zozobrado
February 18, 2020, was a very meaningful and lovely day at The Listening Room Café in Nashville, Tennessee. Ten Military families from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) received the opportunity to hear songs from the upcoming album entitled, Love Lives On for the first time ever. “To honor these 10 families representing hundreds and thousands of families across this country is extraordinary” exclaims Bonnie Carroll, founder of TAPS as she opens up the Love Lives On listening party.
This is not your typical album, it is a 10-song compilation of personal stories told by families who have lost a loved one in the armed forces whether that be a son, husband, friend, or even a canine. Produced by the well respected, Jimmy Nichols and Frank Myers, as well as written by some of the best hit writers in the industry, (Richie McDonald, Gary Baker, Brett Jones, and Billy Montana etc), this meaningful project was orchestrated to “honor the lives and dedication of our servicemen and women, and the sacrifice of fallen military heroes”.
Mrs. Carroll and Steve Dunavant, Chairman of Roots & American Music Society (RAMS) opened up the event by explaining how they teamed up to make this project possible and how Carroll’s personal story about the death of her husband inspired the album title. Many of the songwriters, musicians, engineers and the producers joined them on stage and shared their experiences from how they got the call to what it was like hearing some of the families’ stories.
Gallery Photo Credit: Music Update Central
“I am so honored to be a part of the TAPS teams and to have been asked to co-produce this with Frank Myers…to get to watch this thing grow from this concept of simply honoring our hero including the heroes that live on in their memory...has been cathartic and healing on my own and inspiring to me as a musician”- Nichols commented.
Deborah Allen, songwriter of the project added her perspective stating how hearing the Houser Family’s story about Preston deeply “touched her heart” and how she was honored to be a part of this “legacy that lives on”.
After hearing the panel speak, it was time for everyone to listen to the finished product all the songs from Love Lives On. There were videos of each family telling the story of their loved one and followed by the song that was inspired from that story. An abundance of smiles and tears filled the room. It was beautiful to see some songwriters comforting the family as the songs were playing. We were also lucky to see some of the songs being performed live by artists such as Andy Griggs, Angie Keihauer, and Dave Fenley.
Love Lives On will be released on Memorial Weekend of May 22, 2020. Do not miss listening to these heart-wrenching songs about hope, celebration, and remembrance of loved ones.
Like Dave Fenley said “These unsung heroes aren't unsung anymore because they have a song now”.
About Roots & American Music Society (RAMS):
Roots & American Music Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and non-profit record label. Founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015, RAMS exists with the goal to foster and support the creation, performance and appreciation of Roots and American music. RAMS’ nonprofit record label undertakes unique large-scale recording projects that use music to raise awareness of and funding for important work being done in our communities..
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national non-profit organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a military death. Services are provided free of charge. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to more than 90,000 survivors of fallen military. The survivors who participated in this project were selected because of their demonstrated perseverance to post-traumatic growth and healing following the death of a military family member. Find out more information about this amazing collaboration here on: