Election Results: Memphis City Council runoff elections

Bright Spot: Man hopes a song about his grandmother inspires people to vote

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis barber is using music to encourage people to get out and vote, but it’s the story behind the song that will truly inspire you.

“I basically write when I’m here or when I’m getting an idea or doing a client’s hair,” said William Gandy as he played his guitar.

He said his latest song tells the story of someone very special.

“‘Be the Vote’ is based upon my grandmother when she went and voted when she was 106 [years old],” he said.

Born in 1902 in rural Mississippi, he said his grandmother, Mary Alice Gandy, was always afraid to vote. Until, she was 106-years-old and determined to cast her vote for now-former President Barack Obama.

“It was a big deal for her. She felt like she had really accomplished something. She had fears of voting when she was younger,” he said.

His grandmother died a year later.

Determined to keep her legacy alive, Gandy published a children’s book recounting her first vote and more recently, wrote a song in her honor called ‘Be the Vote.’

“She would be totally excited. She was ecstatic when she went and voted,” he said. “The way I wrote the song it says that anyone can be the vote. It can be your mom, your brother, anybody. Every vote is important.”

Gandy said his message is simple: if a 106-year-old can be inspired to go to the polls, that should be motivation for all of us.

“Exercise your civic right. Go out and do what you can. Go out and vote,” said Gandy.

If you’d like to listen to the entire song: https://youtu.be/8-wJ5NPE4Yw

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