ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Kentucky coal miner went viral after racing home from his shift to take his son to a basketball game, showing up covered head to toe in coal dust and overalls – all so he could watch as his young son experienced the opening moments of the game.
The inspiring story has captured the hearts of many in the nation and the mind of one Abilene man. Danny Ellison of Hamby said he heard of the story from his wife and put his thoughts to paper. Soon after, a song was produced.
“This is a story of doing what your wife tells you to do… She said, ‘well, read this and write a bluegrass song about it,’ and she just walked away,” Ellison said.
While Ellison said his process is usually more personal, as he continued to read, he felt more of that personal connection and spark of inspiration.
Click here to listen to Coal Dust on My Face, written by Danny Ellison, performed by Jordan Tyler Haynes and Danny & Stephanie Ellison
“Where a lot of other music kinda starts here, you know, bluegrass starts right here in the heart,” described Ellison.
“Coal Dust on My Face” explores that special relationship between parent and child. Especially at such a young age when just showing up can mean so much.
“Love can look all kinds of different ways,” Ellison explained. “It’s not always just showing up pristine right? it’s showing up, period.”
Many of the lyrics, Ellison said, came to him as he worked his full time job as Program Director of Therapist Recreations at the Hendrick Home for Children in Abilene. He wrote and later recorded at a Clyde studio, owned by his friend Jordan Tyler Haynes. Haynes and Ellison’s wife, Stephanie, sang backup while Ellison played many of the instruments.
Ellison told KTAB/KRBC he admires the father for doing all he can to make sure his son has a memorable experience.
“They wanted to be there to see the look on their sons face at the tip off of the game,” Ellison said in awe.
While Ellison said he hopes his song will bring others to enjoy bluegrass as he does, the real gift comes from knowing the family in Kentucky connects with his message.
“I sent them a copy and within 30 minutes, Mollie McGuire had emailed me back and told me that her and her family were in tears listening to the song… The job was accomplished when the McGuire family heard the song,” added Ellison.
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