Dream to Reality: A Tribute to Lavonne Johnson

February 25, 2022

Dream to Reality: A Tribute to Lavonne Johnson

A dream to become a performer, the challenges that got in her way and the spirit of hope that kept her going.

– Article by Diane Jarvis

Ms. Lavonne Johnson had always loved to sing.  Freedom Sings USA held a retreat with the VA in Little Rock, she was an automatic choice to have her story come to life in song.  As a female veteran, she was paired with our songwriter, Hunter Girl.  

As Hunter sat down with Lavonne, she asked about her life both in and out of the Army.  Lavonne was a young woman with a desire to perform.  She auditioned to become a backup singer for Wilson Pickett and to her surprise she was chosen.  There was just one problem, she had to provide her own transportation across the country to sign the contract and begin the tour.  Unfortunately, her parents did not have the resources to buy the ticket.  Sadly, Lavonne had to give up on her dream to become a professional singer.

With little opportunities, Lavonne decided to join the Army.  During the Vietnam conflict the Army put together traveling shows to entertain the troops.  Once again, she tried out and, again she was chosen.  This time the Army would provide her transportation.  She was ready to hit the road.  

Lavonne became a singer with the 3rd United States Soldiers Show.  She had the opportunity to travel the world and help the soldiers in war-torn sites forget about their situation for a few hours.  She loved the applause and laughter she got while onstage entertaining other soldiers.  

She and Hunter wrote the song Following the Music about her experiences and what it meant to her.  Hunter performed the song that night in front of Lavonne and other veterans and their families.  Lavonne was in poor health and would not live very long after that night.  Freedom Sings USA, through the writing skills of Hunter Girl, was able let her relive her days one stage one more time.  

Freedom Sings USA offers a female only class for veterans along with other classes through the week.
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Healing through music and songwriting...

Freedom Sings USA provides songwriting and music-arts therapy programs for Veterans and Military families. Based in Nashville and Chattanooga (TN), we are now providing weekly classes, monthly workshops and touring events nationwide (live and online). Whether you're a veteran searching for a place to connect with peers, a songwriter looking to share your talents, or an organization interested in supporting our Veteran-focused mission, we invite you to get involved today. Music is Good Medicine.™