Ascension Hospitals’ new ad campaign is getting a lot of attention nationwide, due in part to the song used in its television commercials.
“I’m Not Going Anywhere” is resonating with the public, many wanting to know more about the performer who is singing it.
And, perhaps, no one is more surprised by the reaction than singer/songwriter Kelly Lang, who wrote the song 16 years ago after seeing a friend struggling while caring for her ailing husband.
“He was being well taken care of, but she was not,” Lang recalled.
Through it all, the friend kept telling her spouse, “Honey, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not leaving you.”
A few months later, Lang was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fighting for her life, she told the man she was dating – today, her husband – country singer T.G. Sheppard, “You need to leave. I’m not going to make this.”
His response has stayed with her: “Honey, I’m not going anywhere.”
And she saw firsthand the power of the words she’d used in her song.
The song was recorded by Sheppard and country legend Crystal Gayle and used in the 2008 Burt Reynolds movie, “The Deal.”
After that, it remained dormant until someone from Ascension discovered a video on YouTube showing Lang singing the song at the Bluebird Café in Nashville.
“I got a phone call from my music administrator last January who said they were planning on using it,” Lang recalled. “I was like: Wow!”
During her battle with breast cancer, Lang had undergone treatments at an Ascension hospital.
After the ad campaign went national, the song took on a life of its own via Shazam.com and other online venues. Lang’s phone began to ring with calls coming from around the country.
“I’m getting emails from so many people, just really kind, supportive emails from people that are hearing it for the first time and maybe going through a health crisis themselves and needing to hear the reassurance,” she said. “Especially with COVID right now, people feel like they need somebody to tell them, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. I’m not leaving you here.’”
In fact, interest has been so high that Lang plans to release it as a single with a full music video on Jan. 29. After that, fans will be able to find it on her YouTube channel and her website, www.kellylang.net. It will be available for purchase in the version heard on the Ascension commercial as well as a fully orchestrated version and also narration of the story behind the song.
Lang released her most recent, 14-song album, “Old Soul,” on Sept. 18. She and Sheppard will perform in concert on Jan. 30 at the Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsville, Florida.
The Ascension network includes more than 2,600 sites of care, among them 145 hospitals. Locally, there is Ascension St. Vincent's Health Center – St. Johns, 2001 County Road 210; Ascension St. Vincent's Southside Hospital and Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside in Jacksonville; and Ascension St. Vincent's Clay County in Middleburg.
Ground was broken Dec. 4 at the site of a new Ascension St. Vincent’s hospital in an area known as Fountains North in northeastern St. Johns County. That hospital is expected to be complete in 2022.
Readers can see the Ascension featuring Lang’s song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtvjiyhTrk.