Jody Whitesides’ new single remembers ‘Forgotten Warriors’
Jody Whitesides’ new song “Forgotten Warriors” will be released on Friday, Nov. 9. For information, visit jodywhitesides.com.
Pop and rock singer, songwriter and musician Jody Whitesides knows the consequences of the trauma American war veterans face.
For 17 years, since the World Trade Center fell and 3,000 died in the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has existed in a constant state of war, with the Afghanistan War standing as the longest-running military conflict in the nation’s history. Millions of Americans who have fought in the War on Terror are being recognized as veterans alongside those who fought in WWII, Vietnam and other conflicts – and thousands have become casualties.
Whitesides said he has a desire to ease the struggles of all veterans, of whom high rates return home and face the consequences of trauma visible and hidden.
“We have all of these men and women going off to fight, and when they come back injured, physically and emotionally, they are left by the wayside to deal with their demons,” said Whitesides, a Park City resident. “They are … treated like crap, and this shouldn’t happen.”
To raise awareness of their plight, Whitesides is set to release a new single, “Forgotten Warriors,” on Friday, Nov. 9, two days before Veterans Day.
The song is planned to hit every major digital music service, Whitesides said will be found on all the digital-music outlets including Apple Music, Spotify, Teaser and YouTube, according to Whitesides.
“The significance is the song is for vets and written by a vet, Greg Watton, who is a friend of mine,” he said.
“I served in the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2004 and I served in Kuwait at an airbase 39 miles south of the Iraqi border during Operation Enduring Freedom, which then turned into Operation Iraqi Freedom, from January 2003 to August 2003,” Watton said in an email.
Watton is primarily a lyricist who has worked with Whitesides for nearly 10 years.
“Greg came to me with the song idea, and I was down with it,” he said. “He gave me the lyrics and I began writing the music.”
The song was originally titled “The Forgotten Warriors of America,” but the title didn’t work well with Whitesides’ composition.
“It became more of an editing situation for me, and I told Greg that I couldn’t make a melody work,” Whitesides said. “I suggested we call it ‘Forgotten Warriors,’ and thankfully he was cool with that.”
The title became part of an anthemic chant that runs throughout the song.
“When you hear it, you can imagine a whole stadium of people singing along to it,” Whitesides said. “To be able to play this in a live setting will be fun for me.”
The lyrics are a call for the public to help veterans, according to Whitesides.
“I know Greg has had to deal with his own issues with post traumatic stress disorder, and this is a work that tries to wake people up and draw attention to what’s happening to our vets,” he said. “Greg has a good perspective about what’s happening to them in our country, because he found himself in these intense situations during the war. And he has seen what those situations do to human functionality.”
Whitesides finished recording “Forgotten Warriors” a year and a half ago, and had made contact with promoters with a plan to release it that Nov. 11, but the arrangement fell through.
“At that time, an opportunity to go on tour came up, but after a few weeks of promises, the deal didn’t pan out,” Whitesides said. “So I started to stockpile some other songs in addition to ‘Forgotten Warriors’ to release during the course of this year.”
During the past few months, Whitesides said he found a new team of promoters who is putting together a new sponsorship campaign that includes the song to entice other artists and bands to recruit the singer for tours.
“I want to spread the song’s message to as many people as I can,” Whitesides said.
In the meanwhile, Whitesides and Watton have tossed around their own ideas regarding “Forgotten Warriors.”
“We originally thought we could get the song to some nonprofit organizations like (the Wounded Warriors Foundation) and others,” Whitesides said. “We then thought about turning the song into its own charitable cause. … We’re just trying to decide what we ultimately want to do with it.”
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Park City Beethoven Festival presents a preview of an upcoming Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performance.