WWII Marine CPL Don Graves & The Marine Rapper collaboration
Last Letters and I are so excited to be a part of this! Bringing two amazing people, who have the love of music, together to have some fun!
Absolutely love that he used actual footage of Last Letters bringing Don to Ireland in the video.
A little background, during Don's Last Letter podcast episode, Don said, "I have always wanted to go to Ireland, sit in an Irish pub, order a beer, and I want to sing Danny Boy." Don, an avid singer, who has performed the national anthem at multiple events, also feared he would never have the opportunity at 97. Don said, "I don't want to go alone. When you get older, you don't want to travel alone."
Over 7 million people have been inspired by Don's service and life and the most common comment is, "Thank you for your service, we can never repay you!"
Through sponsors and a Gofundme campaign, World War II Iwo Jima Flamethrower Operator Cpl. Graves wish came true this last May.
We recorded the song and documented the experience at Don's house about two weeks before his trip. Hope you will go out and download!
I was curious and asked The Marine Rapper what his thoughts were when creating the music? So here is some background behind the song Smiling by The Marine Rapper, Don Graves & Killavic Beats featuring Emma Louise.
We chose jazz and hip hop instrumentation to reflect Don's time-period.
The meaning behind the song is Smiling through the military generations from Iwo Jima to Afghanistan. I merged When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, an Irish song, with Whole World in His Hands, a black gospel song, to represent the bridging of both of our cultures.
U.S. Army Soldier and vocalist Emma Louise, lent additional vocals to the song to represent the maternal nature that comforts us before, during and after war.
The song is produced by #1 Billboard charting producer and U.S. Marine Veteran Killavic Beats and co-produced by #1 Billboard charting recording artist and combat veteran The Marine Rapper.
In addition, this song makes Don Graves, 97, the oldest person to release a digital single and digital album, surpassing Tony Bennett who was 95 when he broke a Guinness World Record.
Since releasing, Smiling it has hit:
#5 on Jazz Album charts
#17 on Jazz Single Charts
#35 on Worldwide Single Charts
Special note: watch video to very end and you will see Don listening to the song in Ireland.
I hear an actual record album is coming soon!
Click here to watch the music video: Smiling
Big Thank you: American Airlines Loews Hotels Yummi Sushi #merrilllynch GoFundMe #usmc #WWIIveteran #wish #birthday #marines #marinelife #military #ireland #share Original Marines U.S. Marine Corps #share #kinsale #wish #dreamcometrue Sky Ball OM History Consultant Kelly Russell Castonguay