Beliefnet
(Nashville, Tenn.) June 22, 2001 -- Jars of Clay, Jaci Velasquez, True Vibe and many other recording artists took part in an unprecedented recording of "America, the Beautiful" this week at Scene Three studios in Nashville. The star-studded recording is to be part of a 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence celebratory event spearheaded by television producer Norman Lear and to be held July 4 in the historical city of Philadelphia. The event is to be televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Celebrated artists who also took part in the recording include: Alabama (Randy Owen), Amanda Wilson, Amy Grant, Anointed, Avalon, Billy Dean, BR549, Brenda Lee, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Chalee Tennison, Clark Family Experience, Coley McCabe, Collin Raye, Darryl Worley, Dean Miller, Holly Williams, Jamie O'Neal, John Berry, Keith Urban, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lonestar, Lyle Lovett, Marshall Dyllon, Mike Walker, Oak Ridge Boys, Phil Vassar, Sherrie Austin, Suzy Bogguss, The Carol Lee Singers, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Warren Brothers and ZoeGirl.

The July 4th event and the recording of "America, the Beautiful" are all part of a nationwide project, the centerpiece being Mr. Lear's copy of the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Lear, known for his executive producing credits for sitcoms such as All In The Family and Sanford and Son, recently purchased an original copy of the Declaration of Independence with the intention of bringing "the People's Document" back to the American people. As a representative for Mr. Lear, Creative Artists Agency music department chair, Rob Light, suggested and then put together the "America, the Beautiful" recording. In addition to the multi-artist song, the centerpiece of the live televised event produced by Mr. Lear in Philadelphia is a live dramatic reading of the Declaration by a dozen distinguished actors, including Mel Gibson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kathy Bates, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Spacey and others. The program will also feature a special performance by country music star Garth Brooks along with other musical performances.

More information regarding the event is scheduled to be unveiled at a major press announcement on the morning of July 3rd at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Pictured in the "America the Beautiful" attachment with Mr. Lear's original copy of the Declaration of Independence at Scene Three in Nashville (l-r) are: James Stroud, DreamWorks record label chief and "America, the Beautiful" producer; Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay); Lear; Jaci Velasquez; Nathan Gaddis, Jason Barton, Jonathan Lippmann and Jordan Roe, True Vibe; and Matt Odmark, Jars of Clay.

ABC's Good Morning America was also at the recording of "America, the Beautiful" and taped exclusive footage documenting the historical event. Vocalists Dan Haseltine and Jaci Velasquez were two recording artists singled out to complete individual interviews for the feature, which is slated to broadcast July 4. The artists are pictured in the "Velasquez - Haseltine" attachment between their interviews with Good Morning America.

Jars of Clay is currently in the studio working on a new recording due to release in early 2002. Jaci Velasquez recently released her critically acclaimed sophomore Spanish Language recording, Mi Corazón, and is in the studio working on her first holiday recording, Jaci Velasquez Christmas. True Vibe released its self-titled debut last month and will embark next week on a major market tour with Jive Records artist Aaron Carter.
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