By Greg Guy / Entertainment Editor
The Halifax Herald
Terry Kelly made history on Tuesday by officially unveiling the first CD ever that includes Braille in the liner notes.
The Blind Newfoundland singer/songwriter launched the CD, called “The Power of the Dream”, in style Tuesday at a Government House reception, hosted by Lt.-Gov. Myra Freeman and her husband, Lawrence.
The multiple-ECMA Award-winner remembers listening to music and yelling to his wife, Anne, “who was busy making dinner at the time,” and asking her to read the liner notes.
“I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have these notes in Braille,’ ” Kelly told the invited guests.
Besides the Braille pressed on the liner notes, the CD is also enhanced. The Blind and visually impaired with Braille printers can print out the credits and words to the songs.
The liner notes include the credits and tracks of the songs in Braille.
The CD features 13 original Kelly songs, one which he had co-written with Floyd King called In the Garden, and another he penned with Mark Murphy and Maureen Ennis of Newfoundland’s the Ennis Sisters, called Guardian Angel. Other high-profile collaborators include Lennie Gallant, Bruce Guthro and Ron Hynes.
Tuesday’s launch was also a celebration of literacy and music.
Elizabeth Hamilton of the Canadian Institute for the Blind in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. explained the history of Braille and said for the blind and visually impaired, Braille equals literacy, print, equality, independence, employment and choice.
For the first time in the history of Government House, guests were sent their invitations in Braille.
Lt.-Gov. Freeman also presented a framed certificate printed in Braille to Kelly, along with a printed copy.
While attending the World Blind Union’s Fifth General Assembly in Australia in November 2000, Kelly was asked by his friend Euclid Herie, who was in his last term as president of the World Blind Union, to perform a song that would close the conference.
“I’d written the music and pulled together some of the lyrics, but the heart and soul of the song came together after I listened to those people speak at the conference,” Kelly said, of the title track, “The Power of the Dream”.
“Intellectually I’d always known I was fortunate to live in Canada, but when I was among people who painted pictures with words and emotions really brought it home.”
“The Power of the Dream”, with a chorus “Changing what it means to be blind/Step by step one day at a time/Still much to do but it shall be/That the sighted eyes of the world/Will be able to see” means a great deal to Kelly personally.
“It’s about empowerment and taking responsibility for the dreams you have,” Kelly said. “It’s about the power we can find inside of us all.”
Kelly will give a dollar from every CD sold to the World Braille and Literacy Foundation and the CNIB.
At the ceremony, Marjorie and Sheldon Fountain were presented certificates for their contribution to the CNIB in Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
Kelly along with musicians Floyd King and Bruce Jacobs performed three tunes from the CD, including “You Have All of Me”, “Hold On To Me” and “The Power of the Dream”.
The CD hit stores on Tuesday, distributed by EMI and Tidemark