Region’s musicians gather to record Christmas single

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – “I know you aren’t my real brother/And I know we are not the same race or color/Still I know that deep inside you’re just like me …”
Anthony Sykes wrote those words, and they’re the opening lines of his holiday song “This Christmas Day.”
Tupelo resident Sykes wrote “This Christmas Day” as a 2010 version of “We Are the World” for the holidays. “We Are the World” was a 1985 charity single that featured a variety of singers, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.
“This was not the first time I’d written a song,” he said. “But I had the idea to make it unique like ‘We Are the World,’ with different singers.”
Those singers and musicians are Sykes’ friends and co-workers, many from the Booneville area. They include Tanisha Guise, Tim Rogers, Jennifer Simmons, Nathan Turner, Quentin Hendrix, Chris Agnew, Larry Miller, and Willie and Loretta Guise.
The song also includes a Christmas poem, written by Mitzi Agnew and Patrick Ruff.
“I wanted a multi-cultural group,” he said.
“This Christmas Day” is about the races coming together to celebrate Christmas.
“We all have different life experiences, good and bad, but I believe you should give everybody a chance,” he said.
Sykes put “This Christmas Day” together late in the year, so he didn’t have the opportunity to get the proceeds set up to go to a charity, as originally intended.
Instead, he’ll use proceeds from the single to create a bigger charity project in 2011.
“I’d like to make a compilation of Christmas songs,” he said. “This will all be a part of a bigger piece. A blessing delayed is not a blessing denied.”
“This Christmas Day” is available on thischristmasday.net for 99 cents.

Want to hear it?
– To stream or buy a digital download of “This Christmas Day,” visit thischristmasday.net.