Richmond Hill now has an official theme song. Local musician Larry Barker recorded the song, which is titled "3181 Cruising" – 31 north being the latitude and 81 west the longitude for Richmond Hill.
Barker presented his new CD to the mayor and city council members along with a plaque during last week’s council meeting. He signed over the rights of the title track to the city. City manager Mike Melton said the song will soon be heard as the audio background on the city’s website.
"It was a very gracious gesture, and we plan to use the song wherever we can," Mayor Richard Davis said. "It’s a great tune, and we’re excited to make it the soundtrack for our great city."
Also at the council meeting, Barker invited Davis to join his band during Friday’s CD release party at Station Xchange. Davis, a singer, accepted Barker’s invitation and said he will perform back-up vocals for the live performance of "3181 Cruising."
The event is Friday from 7-11 p.m. and is part of the city's Georgia Cities Week celebration. It will include concessions such as Brunswick stew and barbecue sandwiches from Smokin’ Pig, grilled chicken from Bryan Bank and beer and wine from Glazier’s Pub.
Barker’s band includes fellow Richmond Hill residents Kenny Alexander, who has toured with James Brown, on saxophone and Kerri Keith, daughter of Bryan Bank President Dell Keith, on back-up vocals.
"We’ll be doing a bunch of my songs and also some cover tunes," Barker said. "It’s a street dance. In between live sets we’ll play up-tempo dance CDs, so bring your dancing shoes. The weather forecast calls for a beautiful evening – hopefully that will hold out."
Barker said his wife Linda gave him the idea to hand the rights of "3181" over to the city, "and I thought it was a great idea. The song has universal appeal, and it’s a way for me to give back to this city that I love so dearly."
Barker said the entire album is about "living in this community and my experiences here." For example, the song "Jepson Wine" is about his adventures sailing from Sunbury to Ossabaw Island while the track "Son of the South" is about growing up in the South.
"Much of the inspiration for this album came from sailing the waters in and around here," Barker said. "What a great place we live in! Sailing takes you back to another time and place and reminds you of the deep history we have around us."
Barker spoke of Sunbury being a famous pirate haunt and the "natural springs in the Tivoli River that spew out pink sand. This album is a tribute to the beauty and the history of this area. You don’t need a sailboat to fully appreciate it – but it helps!"
"3181 Cruising" is Barker’s second release. His first CD, "Savannah Delight", came out in 2006 and has been the recipient of critical acclaim on various websites where the disc is available for purchase. The new album is available for download or purchase on the same sites, which includes Napster, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rhapsody and CD Baby. Locally, Barker has copies of the CD available for $10 at his insurance office on Ford Avenue.
Barker has made a free download of the song "3181 Cruising" available on his website at www.3181cruising.com.