Fulfilling Big Dreams in Nashville
By Stephanie Kocer
Adam Hancock is a big fan of Elvis.
For years, he had the dream of recording a song for his mother, Kathy, just like how Elvis recorded a song for his mom. Who knew the chance would come from Kathy’s college study abroad reunion?
Kathy’s classmates that participated in the first SCSU International Study Program in Denmark in 1973 all got together for a reunion last year in Nashville. Cal Anderson, one of Kathy’s classmates, was on the Nashville planning committee for the Denmark group. His nephew, Cal Ecker and his wife Amanda Watson, invited their uncle and his reunion group to use their event building for their festivities. Cal and Amanda, being talented singers and musicians, own and operate a new recording studio in Nashville called Beastside Tracks. And that’s when Kathy got an idea.
She told Cal that her son’s dream was to record a song like Elvis, and wondered if he could set up a recording time in his nephew’s studio, when Kathy and Adam were in town for the Denmark reunion. Cal and Amanda said they, “would make it happen.”
With a plan in place, Adam started to practice extra hard to prepare for his recording sessions. Family friends Wayne and Tracy Stroman had heard about the upcoming Nashville trip and Adam’s recording opportunity and offered to give him guitar lessons to make sure he would be ready to record his chosen songs. They began the lessons two months before the trip, first practicing one day a week, then two lessons a week when the trip got closer. The lessons were even customized for Adam. Kathy invited Wayne and Tracy along on the Nashville trip to thank them for their help with Adam’s lessons and to support Adam while he was in the recording studio.
When the trip to Nashville finally arrived Adam felt confident and ready for his recording session. At Beastside Tracks Recording Studio, Adam knew exactly which songs he wanted to record: “Love Me Tender” and “I Can‘t Help Falling in Love with You,” both Elvis songs, of course. Adam was even able to choose a third song to play and record, which he reserved for “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Everyone was encouraging throughout the process and made Adam feel comfortable in the environment. One of Beastside’s engineers even came in on his day off to record him. “Adam was calm and professional, and thrilled to have the opportunity to fulfill his dream,” says Kathy.
The eventful trip didn’t stop there, though. After his recording session at Beastside, Adam had an invitation to get up on stage to sing at the SCSU Denmark reunion. When Adam was done singing, the entire group gave him a standing ovation. “It was a touching and generous show of support for Adam and his unique sound,” says Kathy.
Adam is still in disbelief he played a room filled with that many people. He says, “It was so cool, I cannot believe it!”
While in Nashville, the group also visited many of the famous local sites, including the Johnny Cash museum, the Patsy Cline museum, the Willie Nelson store and museum, and RCA Studio B, where Elvis recorded. They also paid a visit to the Grand Old Opry. Tracy had written something for the nightly Opry announcements to acknowledge the kindness of those that made Adam’s unforgettable week in the city so special. The announcer welcomed a special fan of the Grand Old Opry, Adam Hancock, of Maple Grove, Minnesota and congratulated him on fulfilling his life-long dream of recording in Nashville. “Adam’s eyes popped open wide and he sat up straight. Again, Adam could not believe it. That was the icing on the cake for him,” says Kathy.
Kathy says it was because of the kindness of others and their belief in Adam that made the Nashville trip so meaningful for him and their family. “It was like the heavens opened up and everybody did their part to make this dream of Adam’s come true.”