Kids Using Music as 'Medicine' During Pandemic

Monday, April 27th 2020, 11:17 am
By: Tess Maune


Main Street in Ramona has turned into the main stage for 12-year-old Kale Evans and 10-year-old Speck Gann where the two have started putting on shows in their small town.

“Some days it's really busy, but some days it's just like a few cars,” said Kale.

The boys are best buds who share a love for Michael Jackson and dancing. They’ve taught themselves the moonwalk and all of the moves Michael made famous by watching videos of the King of Pop. 

“I'll dance for like two hours doing like his History tour, Bad tour, Dangerous tour, whichever,” said Kale. “I'm more of a dance addict.”

The Coronavirus has brought quite a few changes for the boys, like virtual school and social distancing, but it hasn’t stopped them from dancing.       

“The virus has kind of taken away a lot of things that I like to do. It sucks,” Speck said. Dancing helps us, like when we're bored at the house.”

But in the past month, Speck and Kale have taken their dancing outdoors to Main Street in Ramona, a town of about 500. They don’t need a big stage or crowd. They just need a little space and a speaker.    

“Sometimes we'll have people drive by, 'Whoo! Good job!' Clap for us,” Kale said.

And they've learned entertaining can bring in the big bucks.

“Yeah, someone just gave me money. I was like, 'Hey, I could do this, I could make money.' People like it,” said Kale.

They now set up a suitcase next to a sign that says they take tips and it’s working.

“Yeah, made $85 in the past two weeks,” said Speck.

While the boys are making money, London Reilly down in Okfuskee County is making music.

“You can do it whenever you want, like if you're sad, or happy or bored or mad,” said London. “Music is like medicine.”

The 9-year-old is a natural musician. She sings, plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, banjolele, and she writes her own music, too.

“It’s been 14 days, 14 nights since I went to town. Losing my mind, a day at a time since Rhona came to town,” London sings in her original song. “Oh’ Rhona, why are you so cruel? They tried to warn me, said don’t ignore me, but I’m just a hard-headed fool.”

She and her mom wrote the song together one afternoon while having a picnic outside.

London’s been singing and playing a lot of music since the pandemic started. Woody Guthrie is one of her favorites, she's from Okemah, just like him.

“Woody Guthrie wrote this one and it's about growing up in Okfuskee County on Buckeye Creek and I live there, too,” London said before singing Guthrie’s Way Down Yonder in the Minor Key.               

Her mom records the performances, then shares them on social media -- giving folks a reason to smile.              

“I like how it's cheering people up while the quarantine,” London said.

“She wasn't really anticipating, I don't think, all the feedback when she first started,” London’s mom Maxey said. “But once she started, it seemed like it was cheering everybody up, so she decided to keep going with it.”

Her song ‘Oh Rhona’ has even gotten airtime on the radio, playing on Big Country 99.5.

“I hope all my songs are on the radio someday,” she said.

And London’s fan base is growing so much that she now has her own YouTube channel.

“It's really given us something to do and it's helping keeping our spirits up,” said London’s mom.

So whether its singing like Woody or dancing like Michael Music is making everything better.