Lacy J. Dalton: "I Can't Breathe" supports BLM

Article Contributed by Penguin Publicity | Published on Friday, November 20, 2020

Lacy J. Dalton is remembered for hits in the 80’s and 90’s including “Crazy Blue Eyes,” “16th Avenue” and “Black Coffee.”  She is a 6-time recipient of BMI Million Airplay awards for her songwriting, and is a multi-Grammy nominee. She was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Female Vocalist in 1979 and has recorded duets with Willie Nelson, George Jones, Bobby Bare, Glen Campbell, David Frizzell and many others.  She has received 2 gold records – one for her performance as the only woman on Willie Nelson’s “Half-Nelson” platinum duet project and one from Hank Williams Jr.’s “5.0 Tour.”  She is a member of the North American Country Music Association International (NACMAI) Hall of fame and has been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now, Lacy is back on the airwaves with a new, original song, “I Can’t Breathe.”

“This song shot out of me like the tears that shot out of my eyes watching what I saw on the TV over and over again,” Dalton says. “There are, tragically, over 70 documented cases of people of color saying “I can’t breathe” while dying at the hands of law enforcement.  Because of the sensitivity around the issue, we did not want people to think that we were high-jacking the cause for any personal gain.  From the beginning, my manager Leslie Adams, my co-author and producer Jimmy Jackson and I agreed that we wanted the proceeds to go to the Equal Justice Initiative which supports the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement.”

The Equal Justice Initiative has a 100% positive rating on Charity Navigator with over 90% of monies raised going directly to fund programs, and only 6.2% spent on administrative overhead (compared to an average of 40% by other charitable organizations).

Lacy was deeply influenced by her experience teaching songwriting in the California Prison System for nearly 4 years through the William James Association and the Califorinia Arts in Corrections program, along with her music partner Dale Poune. Lacy and Dale’s work focused on teaching song writing skills and techniques, music theory and guitar playing to level 4 maximum security inmates.  Through these classes, a select group of students got the opportunity to learn the basic principles of guitar playing and songwriting, which they then used to develop songs and lyrics both individually and as a group.  The class culminated with inmates recording their musical compositions and performing a full-length musical to an audience of prison and non-prison personnel.  In the honored tradition of “Each one Teach One,” some of those inmates are now teaching others.

“I Can’t Breathe” features an accompanying music video.