ST. GEORGE – Love is in the air at Spring Gardens Assisted Living Center in St.George. Billy Maddox, 83, and his wife Lucy Maddox, 88, recently enjoyed their 50th wedding anniversary.
But, the inside story is that their special day is marked by a yearly song: A special first anniversary song that Billy wrote for Lucy back in 1962, just one year after their marriage in Southern California.
Short on money, but clearly not short on feelings of love for his “bride” of one year, Billy wrote the song “Happy Anniversary” for her as they were driving to her parents house for their first anniversary. Singing had been something he enjoyed up to that time, but without any funds to buy Lucy a present, he thought a song would be nice. This was the first song that he ever wrote.
For the last 50 years, when their anniversary rolls around during the Thanksgiving holiday season, he continued to sing this catchy tune to his wife – a love poem of sorts to the woman of his dreams.
The Maddoxes married when Lucy’s kids were 5, 10 and 15 years of age. Billy had been a sworn bachelor up to then, but knew he could not live without Lucy. They raised the children in Bellflower, California.
Billy served in the Army for 18 years after joining one year after World War II ended. He then became an entrepreneur most of his career life
In 2004, Billy and Lucy moved to St. George and lived in Sterling Court Assisted Living Center. There, they met piano player Dick Barton who came to perform for the residents. Billy decided Barton would be the one who had the talent to design an arrangement his Anniversary Song. Barton was excited to do it and recorded it with a full orchestra. Tammy Houchens, who Billy and Lucy met at Sterling Court, also joined in the project as the singer of those beautiful lyrics.
Billy wrote the tune and the lyrics; Dick made the song come alive with the beauty of arrangement and production, and Houchens lent it her voice.
She performed it for Billy and Lucy the first time on June 12 at Spring Gardens.
As Billy and Lucy hold hands and listen to “their song,” they hope to share it with others.
True love stories like this can really live on through the art and beauty of music. Billy and Lucy Maddox are a love story. Happy Anniversary to the legacy of love that has lasted through 50 years.
The Anniversary Song is included on a CD of songs Barton is producing, which will be available by private sale after July 1. Anyone interested may call Barton and his wife, Carole, directly at 435-688-9582
Barton will also be performing at the St. George Tabernacle on Sept. 7 and his new CD will be available for purchase after the show.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright 2012 St. George News.