The Day the Music Died
Featuring tales from people across the music industry sharing how the pandemic has affected them, their art and their life’s work.
In Part 7 of our series, Molly Healey—appearing as a solo act or in the Molly Healey Trio or the Molly Healey Band or as a member of the Lacewings, Kay Brothers or Ozark Mountain Daredevils—is our teller of tales of music and pandemia.
Molly questions her choice to pursue music as a career in spite of the red flags along the way, but ultimately reveals that it wasn’t really a choice she could make. And she implores us to remember her and her tribe when winter falls on the socially spaced outdoor decks of brew pubs and fern bars.
Photo by Scott Peterson | Courtesy of Molly Healey
I have had music in my life since day one, but I had a terrible practice ethic when I was young. I know I would have been so much further along by the time I decided to make it my career had that been different. But at least it came when it did, and I’ll always be thankful for that.
I have never been able to walk away.
There is a saying that can be paraphrased: “If you don’t want to do something, you will find any way possible to avoid it. If you want to do something, you’ll find any way possible to make it happen.” That is now more true than ever for me. If I were to have heeded all of the red flags that have been waving throughout my life, I would be doing something much more stable right now. It would certainly be in my best interests financially. But I have never been able to walk away.
If Not for Fame
Music is hard work. It may seem as though we have it so easy sometimes, but hopefully that attitude is changing since this pandemic; as it is now so painfully clear that we can have the rug ripped out from us at any time. We were some of the first to lose our jobs, and we will be some of the last to truly go back. And yet, you find us out here continuing to make a go of it. Why? Is it because we dream of being famous? Maybe, but on the whole, I don’t think so. Personally, I’ve come to realize that “fame” in the traditional sense will never happen to me. Is it the money? Guffaw! So, what is it?
Springfield-based iconic photographer, Steven Spencer, and Healey during a photo shoot at Greene County, Missouri’s historic Union Campground Cemetery | Staff photo
Sometimes I don’t even know, but I’m certain that us musicians collectively agree that music is still one of the things that can truly bring us together, and in these times, we need that more than ever. What a sad place it would be without all of this hard work and dedication that musicians around the world are showing.
Music is still one of the things that can truly bring us together …
My message is to remember us this winter, when things are dark and venues have shuttered. The government’s help has ended. If we are to continue making the so-called soundtracks to our lives, we need your support now more than ever. Check in on those livestreams, even though they will never match the feel and energy of a live performance. Even when the internet is slipping or the sound is messed up. Tip and donate when you can. The constant online event invitations might seem tedious after all of these months, but they may be some of the only sources of income for some of us (and for some important foundations) until we can go outdoors again.
And when we are able to get out and unabashedly enjoy music again, let’s all agree to never take those moments for granted.
“Hummingbird” by Molly Healey with Kyle Day on bass and daughter, Annabelle
is a violinist, cellist, and guitarist from Springfield, Missouri. She performs solo, as well as with a full band. Dubbed a "rock-inspired orchestral looping" artist, she loops her stringed instruments live into a symphonic bed that gives full and intense roots to her original compositions. The Molly Healey Band includes Zach Harrison on guitar, Kyle Day on bass, and Danny Carroll on drums.
She also is an activist, environmentalist, and founder of Springfield's Earth Day Festival—a one-day, ticketed, outdoor, plastic-free, music and sustainability festival where the proceeds are raised for local environmental organizations.
To learn more about Molly and her work and to buy stuff visit: https://www.mollyhealey.com/
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