For more than 25 years, Randy Owen led one of country music's most popular groups, Alabama. After selling more than 73 million albums with 42 number one singles, Owen has begun a solo career.
Owen is about more than music, however. In 1989, he helped start the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® program after meeting Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. The Country Cares radio fundraising events have raised $315 million in the past 19 years.
Owen's debut performance of his latest song, "Braid My Hair," was the highlight during this year's Songwriter's Dinner held annually at St. Jude.
The Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM) recently presented Randy Owen their Paul G. Rogers Public Service Award. This award was created to honor individuals who are demonstrated leaders in increasing awareness and support of important health issues today. The FNLM is pleased to honor Randy Owen for his many years of dedication to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and children's health issues.
A Special Song
"Braid My Hair" is the first single from Owen's new solo album, One to One. The song is about a young girl who has lost her hair due to illness. Chris Gray and Brent Wilson wrote the song. Gray had been a teacher at St. Jude helping kids there who were being treated for cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. He knew firsthand the effects chemotherapy had on kids and that many of the girls longed to have hair to braid again. The songwriters managed to get the song to Owen's mother, who recommended her son listen to it.
One hundred percent of the song's publishing royalties will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "It's an incredible story done in song," says Owen. "To kick this album off with this song is definitely the right way to go."
It is easy to see that Owen's commitment to St. Jude is ongoing. He was honored last June by Danny Thomas' son, Tony, with the hospital's Founders Award. In accepting the award, Owen celebrated Danny Thomas' work, saying "I didn't have the chance to know him as well as some of you, but it shows you how a good man can inspire you in just a brief time."
Hospitals for Children
In all there are about 250 children's hospitals in the United States. For more information on children's hospitals, visit Children's Hospital Association, the Web site for the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). NACHRI is an organization of children's hospitals with 218 members in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.