After a group of Louisville musicians wrote, recorded and released, In April, a civic celebration in song called "Lift Up Louisville," bourbon city’s Mayor Greg Fischer challenged other cities to do the same and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett encouraged Radio Milwaukee and Imagine MKE to give it a whirl.
The result is "Milwaukee Strong."
The song and video were released Friday at 10 a.m. in a live-streamed event, hosted by 88Nine on-air personality Dori Zori, which you can find here.
With a "We Are the World" and "Do They Know It’s Christmas" alternating-vocalists-and-backing-chorus approach, the musical tribute to Milwaukee features contributions from more than 30 Brew City musicians.
"Milwaukee artists have brought creativity, imagination, and passion to both ‘Milwaukee Strong’ and ‘The Hero In You.’ The results of their work are remarkable," said Mayor Barrett. "In suggesting a Milwaukee song, I hoped for a piece that would inspire and unify our community; my expectations have been greatly exceeded."
Here are the lyrics to the song:
Music and Lyrics by Shonn Hinton; rap lyrics by Ray Nitti
Milwaukee Black and Brown, so please change policy
Milwaukee let’s work on ending poverty
Milwaukee growing, let’s make sure that we grow it properly
Milwaukee home, so let our love show
Milwaukee special, invest in the homegrown
Talent, we all searching for balance,
united the Good Land’s approaching all our challenge
In addition to lifting up the city and its morale, the song aims to honor heroes. The video for the tune includes footage of the creation of artist Ken Brown’s 620-foot-long "The Hero in You" mural – which honors frontline workers – being painted on the James Lovell Street side of MacArthur Square, as well as depicting everyday hometown heroes doing their work.
"Milwaukee Strong" will also help boost the profiles of more than two dozen talented hometown musicians, including Shonn Hinton, who wrote the song, and B-Free, who produced it, as well as other creatives, who made the video and contributed in other ways.
Here is a list of the artists who contributed to the "Milwaukee Strong" project:
Terry Jeanes Jr.
Barrett has proclaimed
Friday, July 24, 2020 "Milwaukee Strong Day."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.