Music for the Soul founder and Dove Award winning songwriter Steve Siler has teamed up with Grammy Award winning recording artist Patti Austin to unveil "We're All in This Together," an anthem of hope for these troubled times. But there is more to the story....
Siler recalls sitting on his couch watching news coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic when he was struck by a sense of déjà vu. The news anchor closed the segment by saying with a heartfelt expression on his face, "We're All in This Together."
The phrase triggered a memory, and the memory triggered a smile. "We're All in This Together." It was the name of a song Siler had written nearly three decades before. And it was a phrase that seemed to take on a life of its own in 2020, as the deadly new virus captured worldwide attention and news programs, and broadcasters across the country began using it as a prescient call for unity.
Siler soon received a call from a friend who suggested he write a song about the virus for Music for the Soul, an organization that uses songs to tackle life's toughest issues in ways that can be heard, remembered, and revisited. Little did she know, Siler had already written it.
Celebrated recording artist Patti Austin performed Siler's song, "We're All in This Together," at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the early 90s at a Hollywood fundraiser. The song was performed for a crowd of 300,000 in Washington, D.C., when the AIDS quilt was displayed, and was later released as the title track on an album with GRP Records. And now, it seemed that God had another plan in mind for the song.
"I thought maybe I should go back and look at the lyrics," Siler pondered. "I couldn't believe it. Every word fit. It was as if it had been written for this time. I reached out to Lynne McCleery, the song's publisher, who had also been hearing the phrase constantly being repeated. Before I got off the phone with Lynne, I received an email from Patti Austin's manager saying she wanted to sing the song again in regard to Covid-19."
Randy Kartchner, who arranged the song when it was first recorded 28 years ago, contacted Siler and offered to arrange and produce a new version of the song, and even volunteered to gather musicians who would donate their time and talents to make it happen. Kartchner recorded the piano from his home in Maryland, musicians in Nashville recorded the rhythm tracks in their houses, while the Salt Lake City-based orchestra recorded three players at a time in multiple sessions stretched out over two days to respect social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, Patti Austin recorded the vocals in Los Angeles. All the parts were then sent to Kent Hooper in Franklin, Tennessee, for the final mix.
As the song came together, it became apparent that it cried out for a video that should be shared. The call went out for photographs and videos, and the response was immediate and overwhelming. "We received images from as far away as England and Australia," Siler marvels. "A film professor from the College of the Desert in California recommended emerging filmmaker Carli Holland as the video editor, and she combined video and still shots from around the world to create the final piece. This was not a project that we could do alone. In the end, we wound up proving the point of the song--while being far more than six feet apart, we created something extraordinary by working together."
All proceeds from "We're All in This Together" will benefit recovery and relief efforts.