Bill Edwards "Christmas for Wounded Veterans 3"

Bill Edwards
"Christmas for Wounded Veterans 3"

Interview by Roger-Z (09/22/14)

Roger-Z: What inspired the Christmas for Wounded Veterans Project?
Bill Edwards: I was motivated to start this project by my father Bill Edwards Sr. who proudly served in WWII and Korea in the U.S. Navy. Up until his death three years ago, he volunteered over 8,000 hours working for the VA hospital in his home town of West Palm Beach, FL as well as with Veterans Adaptive Sports. I also donate to Veterans Adaptive Sports and to The Bob Woodruff Foundation and Tower Of Hope. My dad was the biggest patriot I ever met and taught me to honor every vet and do whatever I could to help their cause. With the circle of musician friends and industry people I know, I thought this project would fit perfectly.

Roger-Z: How do you pick the artists?
Bill Edwards: I started this endeavor by reaching out to my friends in the music business and asking them to write and record an original Christmas song for the compilation with all the proceeds going to Veterans' charities. I still haven't included all the people that responded with a resounding yes. And I have been inundated with new acts who have heard how this project has grown in the last three years and want to join in. The annual live concert we play includes the artists on the current CD. This year that encompasses our Emcee actor Tony Darrow (from Goodfellas/The Sopranos/Analyze This, N.Y. Yankee great Bernie Williams, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Member Gene Cornish (guitarist from The Rascals), rock guitar legend Earl Slick (from David Bowie/John Lennon), actor/singer Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior from the Sopranos), actress Jen Lilley (Days Of Our Lives), along with Westchester's best musicians featuring Dave Keyes, Kristen Capolino, Jon Cobert, Duchess Di, The Renovators, Scott Staton, Tom Dudley, Chuck St. Troy, and myself.

Roger-Z: How do you write a Christmas song?
Bill Edwards: When I write a Christmas song, I first decide which genre suits the singer. Sometimes the celebrity will say they want something more traditional or else something with a harder edge. So that kind of sets the direction -- whether it's a heart warming, seasonal message or something a little more fun and upbeat. I have been lucky enough to write tunes on all three volumes of the CD -- for Bernie Williams, Dominic Chianese, Earl Slick, Gene Cornish, Kristen Capolino, Tony Darrow, and myself. I also wrote duets (with my writing partners Paul Opalach and Donald Benjamin) for Roxy Perry, Dave Keyes, and Jessica Lynn.

Roger-Z: Where do you record the tunes?
Bill Edwards: All the studios donate the time and skills to make this project a success. That includes Long Hill Recording, Peaceful Waters Studio, The Loft, Alchemy Post Sound, Z Studios, Karma East studio, Headline Studios, Jay Street Records Studio, Sweatshop Studios, Cobert Operations Studio, K Town Studios, Gate Hill Audio, Threshold Studios, and Scrooge Studio L.A.

Roger-Z: This year represents Volume 3. Do you envision this as an ongoing, annual event?
Bill Edwards: This project includes both the CD, "Christmas for Wounded Veterans Vol 3" and the live concert. The latter falls on December 5, 2014 at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater. We hope the annual event continues to grow each year in order to spotlight the needs of our veterans, raise more funds for them, and offer a great night of entertainment for our true American heroes.

Roger-Z: Why not include Hanukkah, Kwanza, or other religious holidays?
Bill Edwards: It's not that we don't want to include other religions, but we named it "Christmas for Wounded Veterans" from the start. That's not to say that down the road there won't be additions or that someone else might do something similar and call it Hanukkah or Kwanza for Wounded Veterans.

Roger-Z: Can you explain your motto, "Hate War, But Love the American Warrior?"
Bill Edwards: I use that line because my efforts do not promote any political party, agenda, or position. This is strictly about helping the men and women that put themselves in harm's way on our behalf. I can't think of a group more deserving than those who put on the uniform and give so much for us.

2014 Roger-Z