Top country music artists Darius Rucker and Randy Houser have both started the new year off with successful music releases, but they are also being recognized for their volunteer work with Musicians On Call (MOC), a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. NBC’s Lester Holt recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn. to join Rucker and Houser as they performed and visited with patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt through the MOC Nashville branch. The visit, recently highlighted in Country Weekly magazine, will be the focus of the “Making a Difference” segment of NBC Nightly News this Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 CT plus a “Web Extra” on the Nightly News tab of NBCNews.com featuring an extended interview with Rucker.
The two artists shared with Holt their experiences over the years performing for patients in healthcare facilities and the influence it has on them personally to witness the visible affect music has on these patients. Weighing in on the advantages of having Musicians On Call in their hospital was Dr. Elisabeth M. Dykens, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, who can personally attest to the patient benefits achieved through music.
“Everyone could see the impact of music on the patients, their families and hospital staff when Darius Rucker and Randy Houser entered the hospital rooms to play a song just for them,” shares Musicians On Call Executive Director, Dr. Leslie Faerstein. “Musicians On Call goes to the bedsides of patients 41 times a week in six cities and delivers the healing power of music to those who need it most.”
Rucker is gearing up for the summer release of his upcoming album, True Believers, featuring his latest critically-acclaimed single, “Wagon Wheel.” Entertainment Weekly calls the song “a rich, twangy romper with a decidedly sunny vibe,” while USA Today praises “Wagon Wheel” as a “sure-fire hit.” “Wagon Wheel” follows his previously chart-topping hits “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” “Alright,” “This,” and “Come Back Song.” For more information on Rucker, please visit www.DariusRucker.com.
Houser, who recently earned his first No. 1 and RIAA Gold-certified single with “How Country Feels,” is busy touring in support of his brand new album, How Country Feels, released Jan. 22, 2013 on Stoney Creek Records. Associated Press heralded, How Country Feels is “stuffed with country soul-inflected mid-tempo arrangements that highlight Houser’s rich voice,” and The Washington Post proclaims, “Houser’s back with How Country Feels, a buoyant, hook-filled outing that seems to have the Mississippi native angling for Nashville’s softer, feel-good center.” Selling out shows nationwide, more information can be found online by visiting www.RandyHouser.com.
About Musicians On Call (MOC): Musicians On Call (MOC) was founded in 1999 with the mission of bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. To date, its volunteers have played for over 350,000 people nationwide. Musicians On Call continues its mission through room-to-room hospital performances by both local musicians and national celebrities as well as the CD Pharmacy Program. For more information, please visit www.musiciansoncall.org.