Dozens of singing stars have recorded songs about Sept. 11.
Now Arizona's Official State Balladeer has recorded one about a disaster that's a bit closer to home: the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.
The powerful new song written and performed by Dolan Ellis and titled "Wildfire" is being offered for sale as a fund-raiser to aid in the reforestation of the burned out Mogollon Rim area and carries the project name of "CDs For New Trees."
All proceeds raised by the $10 CD go toward the expense of planting new trees in the area. Ellis receives no money from the sales.
"Your participation in getting this ballad out to the people of Arizona is deeply appreciated," Ellis said in a recent press release. "With your help, we could raise many thousands of dollars which would make a huge difference in restoring the land and the people's lives of Arizona."
Ellis and his music are the embodiment of Arizona and the American West. As one of the original members of the famous folk singing group, The New Christy Minstrels, and now Arizona's Official State Balladeer by appointment of each Arizona governor for more than 35 years, he enjoys a fulfilling career.
The Arizona Office of Tourism recently inducted Dolan into the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame.
Ellis has written hundreds of songs, inspired by a lifetime of exploring Arizona's back roads and trails. His music and lyrics touch the soul of her lands and chronicle the lives of her past and present people. He has recently released a new CD entitled "Tall Tales, Lost Trails & Heroes," a collection of ten history-based ballads of Arizona and the Southwest. Ellis wrote nine of the songs, with the classic "Ghost Riders in the Sky" rounding out the album.
With a whimsical sense of humor, Dolan also performs his "feel good songs" like "The Tuba City Truck Stop," "Bitch Bitch Bitch," "Yuppieville" and "Only the Dead Stay Down."
Though busy with this project, his songwriting remains forever prolific. Among his latest works is the moving and powerful ballad, "Geronimo." Songs like "Ramsey Canyon Rainy Day," "Song of the Buffalo Soldier" and "Cochise County" all reflect his continuing dedication to writing ballads of Arizona, Western history and folk heritage.
Scheduled for late this year is the release of a book entitled "Call Me the Balladeer," which will consist of 35 of his songs, along with sheet music, lyrics, and guitar chords. Also included in the book will be 32 pages of Ellis' color photography of Arizona and many stories about his exciting adventures in Arizona's backcountry.