Larry Buford (Photo Loreen Buford)

Larry Buford (Photo Loreen Buford)

*The raging violence occurring throughout the nation inspired Larry Buford to write music that calms the heart.

While mostly known for his insightful commentaries in the L.A. Sentinel, the Michigan Chronicle and Lee Bailey’s Electronic Urban Report/EURweb.com, Buford actually enjoyed a successful songwriting career in the 1980s, working with many Motown artists and even drawing the attention of the legendary Ray Charles who said during a phone call, “Larry, a song has got to be sayin’ something!”

Although currently a practicing journalist, Buford recently rekindled his songwriting career with a new track entitled, “Can’t Quiet My Soul,” a soothing message song that urges the music industry to address the violence taking place in this country. Explaining more about the single, Buford said, “It’s really an old song in the Motown genre. It had another title and I was updating the track. When I finished, the title ‘Can’t Quiet My Soul’ came to me. Over the years, I just could not find the right lyrics to go with the title. Then Sandy Hook happened, and President Obama’s opening statement about the tragedy – ‘Our hearts are broken today…’ – set it in order! The rest of the lyrics just flowed.”

Buford’s lyrics feature thought-provoking lines such as “Remember Rachel weeping and would not be comforted…all the children we’ll never forget and all the people who’ve lost their lives, this senseless violence just ain’t right. Can’t quiet my soul, can’t quiet my soul. Can’t rest for the suffering, can’t rest. For children dying, children dying. I cannot quiet my soul…” His goal is to rally people to take action to reduce, or even eliminate, the factors that attribute to the current violent climate in the U.S. “We can’t legislate on the will of people, but music can touch the heart.  America needs a heart change and just as music played a significant role in the ‘60’s civil rights era, the music industry needs to step up to the plate now to address all the violence that’s taking place,” said Buford. “But the message cannot be lost in the show, the party and the bling. People need to sit down and listen.”

“Can’t Quiet My Soul” is just one of many message songs that Buford has written. His collection includes “Call the Children Home,” a track that implores parents to be more involved in their children’s lives and “Save A Life (Let Me Live)” that imagines a fetus pleading its case before a mother considering abortion. According to Buford, the topics in his songs cover a range of messages that appeal to people of all ages. “All of my songs have some element that I believe all people can relate to. If you can convey sincerity, meaning and some vulnerability in a song, people will respond. I hope people will hear something in my songs that will spark something in them,” he said.

Naturally, Buford has high hopes for success with “Can’t Quiet My Soul,” but he’s also giving equal attention to his other creative interests. His book, “Things Are Getting’ Outta Hand” is available on Amazon.com and it includes a CD with some of his songs. “I love to write. I love writing poetry too! I even write children’s stories. I have enough material now for a second book which I am now working on,” said Buford. And to keep him encouraged in his many efforts, Buford added that he relies on his favorite quote. “A ship is safe when it is in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.” He says, “Jesus told Peter to cast his nets in the deep.  Launch out!!”

Visit Youtube.com to view the video of ‘Can’t Quiet My Soul’ by Stephanie Glover. Also, a TV documentary on the theme is being produced by Phylecia Wilson. To learn more about Larry Buford, email [email protected]

Reprinted by permission. Cora Jackson Fossett is the Religion Editor for the Los Angeles Sentinel