John Berry celebrates 2020 graduates with ‘The Graduation Song’ re-recording

Berry wrote the song in spring of 1977 during his senior year of high school

GRAMMY winning country music recording artist and songwriter, John Berry, has re-recorded and released “The Graduation Song,” a song he wrote over 43 years ago during his senior year of high school honoring 2020 graduates. The tune was written in 1977 by John Berry when he was 17 years old. Utilizing the power of social media, a message and request to his fan base to send photos of graduates exceeded 500 photos. The images are included in the video to honor these graduates for their accomplishments and recognition. WSM Radio 650 AM and Circle All Access premiered the single and video which is now on all digital platforms.

During the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, Berry re-recorded and co-produced “The Graduation Song” with his son Caelan and wife Robin in their home studio. The band, the same individuals who play with Berry on the road, recorded their parts in their studios during the pandemic and sent them to Berry to mix as if they were all together in the studio. “The Graduation Song” was originally included on his 1981 album In The Nighttime.

A special extension of heartfelt gratitude for Shelby Kennedy and Tunecore for assisting in getting this music available in a timely fashion on short notice.

Berry was honored to share the narration and perform “The Graduation Song” at a special graduation ceremony held by Maury County Public Schools in Columbia, TN where they celebrated high school graduates who have enlisted in the military and their deployment is prior to the upcoming graduation on June 29th which had been rescheduled from original date to later this summer due to COVID-19. The special military graduation ceremony was held at the Columbia Central High School Auditorium Wednesday evening May 27th. Commencement Speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Frank, United States Army addressed the 22 graduating seniors who enlisted to serve in the military.

John Berry shared his thoughts with the following narration:

“Senior year graduation – A rite of passage. All these years later, its importance is still vivid in my consciousness. The very thought of NOT having my name announced on that awful gymnasium sound system and NOT getting to walk across that stage one last time and NOT be handed that little decorative piece of paper that said I had done it…I cannot imagine, I cannot imagine the disappointment.

I hope there will somehow be events for the Class of 2020 graduating seniors, both high school and college, that will effectively celebrate this wonderful accomplishment. It is a remarkable achievement actually: 12, 16, maybe 18 years of their lives spent studying, testing, and learning – learning not only book work, but learning about life, how to get along, as they begin to make their own path, to find their own way. It is important that this moment in the lives of each of these students, these achievers, these remarkable people, be recognized by their communities.

Forty-three years ago, in the early spring of 1977, the reality hit that the end of “the best days of my life” were mere months, weeks, days away. The Graduation Song poured out of me on one of those clear nights as I played my guitar while thoughts of special moments and friends had a hold of my heart. I never really played this song for anyone at that time, but I did eventually record it on an independent album, “In the Nighttime,” in 1981.

Now, all these years later, it has been a labor of love to re-record this song, to give it a breath of new life, in order to pay tribute to the Class of 2020.

Graduates, don’t lose sight of the fact that there are so many friends and family that are very proud of you and want to honor and celebrate you. I hope that you will hold your head high knowing …You Did It!!”

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.