Local talent: Songwriting duo’s song may break out
by Sherry Kughn
Special to The Star
Feb 17, 2013 | 6457 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boyce Callahan Jr., right, and Jim Edmondson pose for a photo at Silver Lakes Golf Course. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
Boyce Callahan Jr., right, and Jim Edmondson pose for a photo at Silver Lakes Golf Course. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
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A song written by two local writers may be in line to attract the attention of a major recording artist, thanks to a competition sponsored by a Nashville group.

Boyce Callahan Jr. of Oxford and Jim Edmondson of Jacksonville co-wrote the song “Prison Break” and entered it in the Nashville Songwriters Association International Songwriting Competition. They are awaiting the results, which are due sometime in April.

Meanwhile, officials at NSAI entered the song in another competition they co-sponsor with Country Music Television. “Prison Break” earned one of the top nine places in the Listeners’ Choice competition, which had several thousand entries.

For the CMT competition, fans of “Prison Break” must vote on the song to help it win. In the days leading up to the Feb. 28 voting deadline, Callahan and Edmondson are emailing, sending out Facebook messages, and telling friends and family members to vote by visiting www.nsai.cmt.com and clicking on “Vote for this song now.” Multiple votes are allowed. Also, they are encouraging social network users to “like” the song on Facebook.

“They don’t even have to listen to the song to vote,” said Edmondson, who has spent 30 years off and on writing songs.

However, music fans might want to listen to “Prison Break” because of its melancholy tone and powerful storyline. In addition, the song has its own story about how it was created.

Edmondson, who writes more than 20 songs each year, wanted to write a song that might capture the attention of a film producer.

“I came up with a guitar lick real late one night,” said Edmondson. “I wanted to put some words with it, and they started coming.”

His thinking was that many films deal with a person in prison, and that person is probably in love with someone on the outside. He wrote about what that person might be thinking while waiting behind bars.

Soon, the shell of the song was written. Edmondson took it to Callahan, who also writes several songs each year, but also sings, plays the guitar, and records the songs.

Edmondson went to Callahan, who has been a songwriter for 17 years, for help with the song.

Callahan smoothed out the melody and words, and when the two had finished, they felt they had captured the mood of what Edmondson felt an anguished lover might express. “Your memory takes me away. Yeah, you’re my prison break,” goes the chorus, making a play on the words “prison break.”

The man in prison hears the noise of the prison, lies on his bed and takes a mental break by thinking of his girlfriend.

The two songwriters are pleased with their song and the song’s recognition, but it is not their first honor. Last year, their song “Wastin’ Time With You” also placed in the NSAI competition but not in CMT’s.

Winning a competition, both agree, does not make or break their songwriting careers. They are part-timers who write for no pay; in fact, the hobby costs them money — membership fees in NSAI, recording sessions, and cutting CDs. They each work long hours at challenging careers — Callahan is a chiropractor and Edmondson is the CEO of Riverview Regional Medical Center — and both are husbands and fathers. In spite of their responsibilities, they write and pick around on their guitars, all in the hope of coming up with a great song.

“We’re up against writers who do this for a living,” said Edmondson. “We’re just average joes.”

The only way a songwriter ever makes significant amounts of money is when a major recording artist chooses to record his or her song, and it becomes a major hit.

“If the song were to win a Grammy,” said Callahan with a laugh, “we’d be in nirvana.”

“We’ll hope this one sells records, that they’ll play it on the Grammys next year, and that it will become ‘Song of the Year,’” said Edmondson, also laughing, “but we have a higher likelihood of winning this contest.”

Edmondson is coordinator of the local NSAI chapter. He encourages songwriters to attend the free monthly meetings. Contact him about the next upcoming meeting at 256-405-7537 or email him a winejerk@usit.net.

Sherry Kughn is a freelance writer and author. Email her at sherrykug@hotmail.com.

"Prison Break"

By Jim Edmondson and Boyce Callahan Jr.

These county walls make
the gray fall upon my head

They echo sounds without
a warning that drive me
to my bed

One whispers prayers,
one cusses air, one
wants to use the phone

We’re all like sheep,
we’re in this keep, this
hole that’s now our home

Your memory takes me away,
yeah, you, you’re my
prison break

Those sleepy souvenirs,
they disappear every time
I awake

The melancholy trance,
the memories dance,
as I make my great escape

For moments few, I’m there
with you, I make my
prison break

The pillows pressed
against my ears hush the
wailing halls

The silence hides me
for a minute as dreams
begin to fall

A howling train, the smell
of rain, carried on an
April wind

That gravel road, the clock that
slowed to let us take it all in

Your memory takes me away,
yeah, you, you’re my
prison break

Those sleepy souvenirs,
they disappear every time
I awake

The melancholy trance,
the memories dance,
as I make my great escape

For moments few, I’m there
with you, I make my
prison break

How to vote

Vote for “Prison Break” by visiting www.nsai.cmt.com and clicking on Vote for this song now. Multiple votes are allowed.
Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material


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Local talent: Songwriting duo’s song may break out by Sherry Kughn
Special to The Star

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