United Through It All Videos

The Story Behind United Through It All

On the weekend preceding the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Randy Bayne was visiting New York City and enjoying the view from atop the World Trade Towers. Two days later, back in his hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he watched as the buildings were smitten by Islamic terrorists and quickly collapsed into a pile of molten steel, gravel, and ash, entombing thousands of innocent men and women, and changing a nation forever. At the same time, Mike Allen was at home in Charleston, SC watching the horrific drama unfold. The two were to meet in Louisville, Ky that evening to attend a music convention. On the road, Randy was traumatized by the vision of the inferno, and the memory of being in that exact spot only 48 hours before. He pulled off the road and was inspired to write several lines of poetry with a spirit of hope and unity, including the phrase “united through it all”. Anxious to flesh this out, he nervously awaited the arrival of friend, Mike Allen, a hobbyist song-writer, to share his poetry and explore the potential for this to be a timely song lyric. Together, they worked through the night to create the lyric “United Through It All”, a song of healing and hope for America. Mike, equipped with a traveling guitar, developed the melody and musical concept and made the lyric a song.

Later that morning, Randy and Mike met with members of the vocal quartet New Millennium who were also attending the music convention, consisting of Ken Turner, legendary gospel bass vocalist from Blackwood Brothers fame, Wayne Little, Derrick Boyd, and Roger Burnette, and Mike shared a guitar/vocal rendition of the song. All agreed it was an important and timely piece of music. At the convention hall, Mike shared the song with Randy’s college friend from his time at Furman University, Steve Mauldin, a Dove-Award-winning music arranger and regular bassist at the Opry in Nashville, and he agreed that this was a song for the season, making several editorial improvements to the lyric. The wealth of professional musical talent available in the convention hall facilitated recruitment of top talent including Anthony Burger, pianist for the Gaither Vocal Band and all Gaither projects, and Greg Ritchie and Bryan Carter, drummer and guitarist for The Easters vocal group, all of whom eagerly enlisted to participate in a recording of the project. Mike rented a professional recording studio in Louisville and the team gathered to lay down tracks.

That night, September 12, Mike and Randy drove to Hendersonville, Tn to meet with Kerry West, Ronnie Milsap’s sound engineer, at Kerry’s home studio. We spent that night engineering the tracks and polishing up the mix. The next day, we stopped by Custom Mastering in Nashville and Hollis Flatt mastered the recording.

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