“Christmas In Fallujah”
Available on iTunes Dec. 4th
Proceeds to Benefit: Homes for our Troops
Billy Joel & Cass Dillon – “Christmas In Fallujah”
For Immediate Release
November 30, 2007
EMERGING SINGER-SONGWRITER CASS DILLON PREMIERES NEW BILLY JOEL SONG, “CHRISTMAS IN FALLUJAH,” EXCLUSIVELY ON iTUNES BEGINNING TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4
Young Artist & Members of Billy’s Band Deliver Emotionally Charged Performance of New Composition Inspired By Soldiers’ Letters From Iraq
Proceeds From “Christmas In Fallujah” To Benefit Homes For Our Troops
Billy Joel, the quintessential American singer, songwriter, composer and performer, has passed along his latest composition, “Christmas In Fallujah,” to the emerging young artist Cass Dillon. Dillon’s electrifying rendition of the song — produced by Tommy Byrnes and Jay Baumgardner and recorded with members of Billy’s ensemble — will be available for purchase exclusively on the iTunes Store beginning Tuesday, December 4.
Net proceeds from “Christmas in Fallujah” will be donated to Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe disabilities. Billy Joel is an avid supporter of Homes For Our Troops. For more information, please go to: Homes for our Troops
Billy wrote “Christmas In Fallujah” earlier this year as a response to letters he’s received from soldiers in Iraq, men and women who’ve found solace, inspiration and comfort in his songs.
“I didn’t feel I was the person to sing this song,” said Billy of the decision to work with the up-and-coming Cass Dillon, 21. “I thought it should be somebody young, about a soldier’s age. I wanted to help somebody else’s career. I’ve had plenty of hits. I’ve had plenty of airplay. I’ve had my time in the sun. I think it’s time for somebody else, maybe, to benefit from my own experience.”
Cass Dillon came to Billy Joel’s attention through Tommy Byrnes, a guitarist in Billy’s band and a musical consultant for the “Movin’ Out” Broadway musical. Byrnes and Stefano DiBenedetto, of the OCD Music Group, had discovered Cass performing an acoustic set at the Drama Cafe in Baldwin, New York. (Cass Dillon, like Billy Joel, is a native Long Islander.) Byrnes produced Cass’s first demo recordings and one night, nearly two years ago, brought the demos, and Cass, over to Billy’s for a listening session over some incredible fish tacos Cass says he’ll never forget.
This year, when Tommy and Billy got to talking about who might be right for “Christmas In Fallujah,” Cass Dillon’s name rose to the top of the list. So Billy and Tommy flew Cass Dillon to San Francisco where, by fate and divine coincidence, they recorded “Christmas In Fallujah” on Veteran’s Day 2007. The wide and immediate reach of iTunes made it the perfect venue for the release of “Christmas In Fallujah.”
For singer-songwriter Cass Dillon, whose first CD was a copy of Billy Joel’s “Greatest Hits,” the chance to launch his own career with a new song of Billy Joel’s is a dream come true. “I feel so honored and blessed to have this opportunity,” Dillon said. “When someone of that stature, with that history of great songs behind him with such a huge catalog asks you to sing something he’s written, there’s nothing you can do but be completely honored to perform.”
On December 4, 2007, iTunes will also offer a six-song EP of Cass Dillon’s original music entitled “A Good Thing Never Dies,” a line taken from “The Shawshank Redemption,” one of Cass’s favorite films.
“A Good Thing Never Dies” marks the inaugural release from the new independent label Mulberry Street Records.