In celebration of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Mar. 29, retired US Army Captain Carl Conge and fellow songwriters Roger Kirby, and Dave Gibson have released a new video honoring those who served in Vietnam.
Conge (who was featured in Webhost Magazine http://webhostmagazine.rocks/carl-conge/ in February 2016) and his friends have knocked it out of the park with this one.
Gibson – who is featured in the video, and sings lead on the song that accompanies it – is an Academy of Country Music Award Winner who has penned hits for some of the biggest names in country music.
“These Days (He’s Just Tryin’ to Get By)” tells the story of a young man who was drafted, sent to Vietnam with the company that participated in the My Lai Massacre, and returned home a much different person than the one who left to fight in Southeast Asia.
It was inspired, in part, by Conge’s older Brother – a Vietnam veteran who passed away in 2010 due to health issues related to the exposure to Agent Orange, and by Michael Franklin – a close family friend who also served in Vietnam.
The color photographs of the My Lai Massacre that appear in the video capture what is considered by many to be one of the darkest moments in the history of the United States military.
Sergeant Ronald Haeberle – the Army Photographer who took those photographs in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 16, 1968 – was gracious enough to give Conge and the others permission to use them.
The majority of the other images that appear in the video were taken by photographers who were assigned to the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office (DASPO) during the war.
One of those photographers, Specialist 5 Robert Lafoon, acted as an unofficial consultant during the making of the video.
Watch the VIDEO
More About Carl Conge
Carl was born and raised in Rochester, New York, and has been interested in music ever since he can remember.
As a teenager, he would entertain the girls who lived across the street by placing speakers in his bedroom window, playing music, and mimicking the DJ chatter that he would hear between songs on the radio.
A few short years later, Carl started his own Mobile DJ business, and – in the years since – has entertained thousands of people at weddings, reunions, birthday parties, and the like. In the late nineties, one of his early dreams of being on the radio was realized when Carl was selected to appear as a Guest DJ on “The Drive at Five with Mike Vickers” on WBBF-FM. Today, Carl still has his hand in the DJ business, his real love is songwriting.
Carl wrote his first song in the seventies, and has been writing ever since. Over the years, he has been fortunate enough to write with some truly talented people, including multiple Grammy-nominated songwriter, musician, arranger, and producer Larry Dvoskin; Academy of Country Music Award Winner Dave Gibson (The Gibson-Miller Band); former Capital Records Recording Artist Don Mancuso (Black Sheep, The Lou Gramm Band, D Drive); and former United Artist Records Recording Artist Mason Tyler (Pookah).
In late 2014, Carl (who is a retired Army Captain) teamed up with fellow veteran Roger Kirby to write a tribute to those who served in Vietnam. The song, called “These Days (He’s Just Trying to Get By”, tells the story of Corporal James Johnson – a Vietnam Veteran who returned home a slightly different man than the one who left to fight in Southeast Asia. “These Days (He’s Just Trying to Get By)” was inspired, in part, by Carl’s older Brother Michael – a Vietnam veteran who passed away in 2010 due to health issues related to the exposure to Agent Orange.
Michael was a big fan of older country music, so when the song was written, they kept that in mind, and tried to write something that he would have enjoyed listening to.
“These Days (He’s Just trying to Get By” is currently the theme song for a radio show called “The Veteran’s Manual” which streams live each Monday evening from 7-9PM EST on Liberty Tree Radio (http://www.libertytreeradio.4mg.com).
The show – which is hosted by Vietnam Veteran “Machine Gun” Randy Phillips – encourages veterans to call in, and talk about their time in the military, their experiences in dealing with the Veteran’s Administration, living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), etc.
Late last year, Carl co-wrote a song called “Come Home” that is slated to appear on the debut album for Long Island New York’s most popular band, Hopefully Forgiven. The album is being produced by Carl’s co-writer, Larry Dvoskin.
When asked about his musical influences, Carl said “The Beatles were a tremendous influence on me.
To this day, I still consider them to be the band by which all others are measured. I’ve also been influenced by the Eagles, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Jim Croce, and others like them.” When asked what current music he listens to, he said “I like John Legend, Ed Sheeran, The Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw. No doubt, there are many others, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind”.
We also asked Carl to tell us about some of his favorite songs.
This is what he said: “Wow. Tough question. I mean, there are so many good songs out there. I’d have to say that Don McLean’s “American Pie”, Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)”, John Legend’s “All of Me”, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, and Joe Diffie’s “Ships That Don’t Come In” would all appear near the top of my list”.
Carl’s songs can be heard by following the links appearing below. A number of other songs are also in the works.