ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Kentucky coal miner has gone viral after running home from his shift to take his son to a basketball game, showing up covered head to toe in coal dust and a coverall – all this so that he can watch his young son experience the first moments of the match.
The inspiring story captured the hearts of many across the nation and the mind of one Abilene man. Hamby’s Danny Ellison said he heard about his wife’s story and put his thoughts on paper. Soon after, a song was produced.
“It’s a story of doing what your wife tells you to do… She said, ‘Well, read this and write a bluegrass song about it,’ and she just walked away,” Ellison said.
While Ellison said his process was generally more personal, as he continued to read he felt more of that personal connection and spark of inspiration.
“Where a lot of other music kinda starts here, you know, bluegrass starts right here in the heart,” Ellison described.
“Coal Dust on My Face” explores this special relationship between parent and child. Especially at such a young age where just showing up can mean so much.
“Love can take all kinds of different forms,” Ellison explained. “It’s not always about being impeccable, is it? it shows, period.
Most of the lyrics, Ellison said, came to him while working full-time as the director of therapist recreation at the Hendrick Home for Children in Abilene. He wrote and later recorded at a Clyde studio owned by his friend Jordan Tyler Haynes. Haynes and Ellison’s wife, Stephanie, sang backup while Ellison played numerous instruments.
Ellison told KTAB/KRBC he admires the father for doing everything he could to ensure his son had a memorable experience.
“They wanted to be there to see their sons’ faces at the end of the game,” Ellison said admiringly.
While Ellison said he hopes his song will lead others to appreciate bluegrass like him, the real gift comes knowing that the Kentucky family connects with his message.
“I sent them a copy and within 30 minutes Mollie McGuire emailed me back and said she and her family were in tears listening to the song…The job was done when the McGuire family heard the song,” Ellison added.