Sony MASTERWORKS announces the signing of 4TROOPS. Their debut self-titled CD will be available on May 11th with a portion of the proceeds from the sales to benefit veteran-related organizations. Sony chose to release the album during Armed Forces Week (May 8-May 15) which honors Americans serving in all five services – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.
4TROOPS are United States combat veterans - three young men and one woman who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. While overseas, music played a crucial and very personal role in all of their lives. They would sing at everything from large military events to more intimate settings, where they would jam in their bunk after a long day in the field and try to recall a slice of home. They also used their voices at somber occasions like memorial services, where they would sing to remember those that had been lost. 4TROOPS now come together for a singular purpose: to sing on behalf of all troops, to honor their sacrifices and to create awareness for their needs.
The members of 4TROOPS are: Former CPT Meredith Melcher, Former SGT Daniel Jens, SSG (Ret.) Ron Henry and Former SGT David Clemo.
Melcher, 29, is the daughter of a retired three-star General. She served as a platoon leader on the front lines in Iraq where she led her troops in the successful ambulance evacuations of hundreds of wounded Americans and Iraqis.
Jens, 36, served in Iraq and was most recently stationed at Fort Hood. He joined the army after the events of 9/11. Jens was one of the finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” He was released from the Army at the end of January. Henry, 41, served in the Army for 20 years. He was a transport manager in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, and also the leader of an Army singing group “Transportation Express.”
Clemo, 30, served on the front lines in Afghanistan providing communications and logistics support for the 18th Airborne Corps. He and Melcher toured together in 2004 with the Army Soldier Show.
The album consists of well-known positive pop and country songs and some new songs. All of the songs take on a special meaning in the context that they are performed by these four combat heroes.
The first song is “For Freedom,” an inspirational patriotic tune written by Matt Moran for his grandfather, a WWII vet. Country star Toby Keith gives his blessing for a new version of his popular and controversial post 9/11 hit “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” to be included on the album with lyrics revised to reflect a 2010 outlook.
Another country hit on the album is “Galveston,” popularized by Glen Campbell. This song made the CMT list of the ten greatest country-western songs of all time.
Other tracks include “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, Lonestar’s “I’m Already There,” and a new song written by Victor Hurtado titled “Here We’ve Been.”
The album is produced by Frank Fillipetti (Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, George Michael, Pavarotti) who produced James Taylor’s Hourglass album which won Fillipetti a Grammy® for Best Pop Album and Best Engineered Album in 1998.
The group was brought together by veteran Victor Hurtado. He has been part of Army Entertainment for the last 25 years, first as a Soldier and Music Director, and later as the Artistic Director. He is currently the Production Director for the Army Soldier Show. This show was established during WWI in 1918 by Sgt. Israel Beilin, better known as Irving Berlin.
An important element to the 4TROOPS project is giving back to organizations that support our U.S. soldiers and veterans. Sony Music will donate 50 cents from each sale of the 4TROOPS album in the United States to organizations that support veterans and their families. This donation will be split equally among The American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) and the USO.
The American Legion is the nation’s largest military veterans organization with nearly 2.5 million members. It was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation. The IAVA, founded by Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, is the first and largest non-partisan, non-profit for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. IAVA has more than 180,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide.
IFHF has raised over $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. The Fund is currently building the National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support the research, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Previous efforts include the Center for the Intrepid for amputee and severe burn patients and providing unrestricted grants to family members of service members killed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The USO delivers its programs and services to millions of active duty service members National Guard and Reserves, as well as their families at more than 140 centers located worldwide. Some of the services that the centers include free Internet and e-mail access, libraries and reading rooms, housing assistance, family crisis counseling, support groups, game rooms and nursery facilities. The USO also produces hundreds of entertainment shows around the world each year.
If you would like to learn more about how you can support the organizations affiliated with this project, please visit their websites at legion.org, iava.org, fallenheroesfund.org, uso.org.
Bob Woodruff, the ABC news anchor who was severely injured in Iraq, conducted the first TV interview with 4TROOPS which aired on Good Morning America (ABC) in January. Woodruff is personally invested in creating a better environment for injured troops who return from war.
Through The Bob Woodruff Foundation and ReMIND.org, Woodruff’s goal is to provide resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities, in addition to educate the public about the needs of the injured troops and empower people everywhere to take action.
The 4TROOPS recently taped their concert special from the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City. The program "4TROOPS: Live From The Intrepid" premieres on PBS starting June 1 (check local listings).
4TROOPS are in the midst of a U.S. Military base tour which will be followed by a National tour in the fall. Upon hearing of the 4TROOPS, the Motel 6 hotel chain immediately wanted to be involved as a promotional partner and as a first step has generously donated lodging for the group throughout their U.S. Military base tour. Cracker Barrel has generously donated free food to the 4TROOPS when they are on the road.
Bless The Broken Road
Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (2010)
I'm Already There
Dance With My Father
You Raise Me Up
You'll Never Walk Alone
Medley (Battle Hymn of the Republic, You're a Grand Old Flag, America The Beautiful)
Here We've Been
Raise Your Glasses
For more information on 4TROOPS please visit www.4TROOPSmusic.com
About MASTERWORKS: RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, MASTERWORKS Broadway and MASTERWORKS Jazz are labels of Sony MASTERWORKS. For email updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, MASTERWORKS Broadway and MASTERWORKS Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit www.sonymasterworks.com.