Ricky Skaggs and Josh Turner are among a group of artists putting their names behind the Your Country Your Vote initiative.
Ricky Skaggs and Josh Turner are among a group of artists putting their names behind the Your Country Your Vote initiative. Aiming to mobilize country music fans in this U.S. presidential election year, the non-partisan effort was borne out of the "America Will Always Stand" project, a compilation of songs inspired by the Civil War.
"We've come a long way since the Civil War, when brother fought brother. We still have differences and we have a place to voice our opinion: the voting booth," Skaggs says. "It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or an independent -- your opinion counts. It's your country, your vote!"
The organization's "get out and vote" message will be conveyed through a series of radio and television public service announcements, plus messages delivered by artists from concert stages in the months leading up to the November elections. At deadline, the Your Country Your Vote Web site was not yet live.
The campaign officially launches this afternoon (Aug. 17) with a recording session at Skaggs' studio near Nashville. In addition to Skaggs and Turner, artists slated to take part are Billy Dean, Marty Raybon, the Whites and the Michaels.
Civil War historian/writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell ("Gods & Generals," "Gettysburg") will also be on hand. He conceptualized the "America Will Always Stand" project, which was spearheaded by songwriters Michael Curtis and Michael Pyle.
"What many people forget is that voting is a right, guaranteed by the Constitution, with the purpose of having leaders chosen by the people and for the people of our nation," Maxwell says.
Released in May, "America Will Always Stand" is the first album of original music ever released by TimeLife Music. The set features songs by Randy Travis, Lee Ann Womack, Darryl Worley and Blake Shelton and Skaggs, among others.