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BrightStone, fallen friends strike chord with Trace Adkins

“[Craig Ferrell] didn’t have to rope me – I was in.”

Trace Adkins

More than $104,000 was raised Thursday evening during BrightStone’s Music that Touches the Heart 11th annual concert and writer’s night. The event was a bittersweet celebration of music and the lives of two men who left a true legacy at BrightStone and a hole in the hearts of those who knew them.

Jim Hinton and Dr. Craig Ferrell both had a passion for BrightStone, a private, non-profit work and life-long learning program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Hinton transferred his love for the game of golf into a highly successful annual tournament to raise funds for BrightStone’s programs.

Dr. Ferrell’s passion was the songwriter’s night he founded 11 years ago with the help of Laura Hill and his close friend Trace Adkins, who was on hand Feb. 21.

Adkins, fighting the flu, performed an emotional If the Sun Comes Up, a song about a veteran but he admitted was sung both last Memorial Day and Thursday night with Ferrell in mind.

”My relationship with Craig Ferrell started in 1996,” Adkins told the Williamson Herald. “He was operating on me every other year. Most of the scars on my body are from him. He became a friend and the first time he mentioned this event, I was in. He didn’t have to rope me – I was in. It’s been a wonderful 10 years; it’s his legacy.”

Dr. Ferrell died May 28, 2012, as a result of injuries he sustained on horseback playing Polo five days earlier. He was a professor of clinical orthopedic surgery and vice chairman of orthopedics and rehabilitation at Vanderbilt Bone and Joint in Franklin, which he founded, and a long-time supporter of BrightStone.

“I had to go to Washington D.C. to perform in the Memorial Day concert,” Adkins recalled. “Lorraine [Ferrell’s wife] called me Sunday night and said, ‘He’s leaving me tomorrow and I can’t stop him.’”

Monday, Memorial Day on the Washington Mall, while singing the song, If the Sun Comes Up, “I wasn’t singing for the veterans, I was singing for Craig Ferrell,” Adkins said. “He was a great friend.”

Trace Adkins is scheduled to appear on “Celebrity All-Star Apprentice,” Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. on NBC. He plans to release a new album in the spring.

“It’s all loves songs,” he said. “It didn’t start out that way, but when I looked at the 15 songs that were done, eight of them were love songs. I went back and cut three more love songs.”

Posted on: 2/28/2013


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