The adage “It’s never too late to follow your dreams” is an inspirational mainstay. That’s exactly the motto Bill Knego is embracing in his new holiday song, “Merry Christmas Time.”
The Lewes-area singer-songwriter penned his catchy holiday tune on Christmas Eve 2004 when his wife Lois suggested he write the tune to keep busy. “I grabbed my guitar, and it was one of those songs that just happened. In 45 minutes, it was done.”
Music had not always been a part of his life.
“I never picked up a guitar until I was 25.” he said. After catching the music bug, Bill began to develop his musical skills at open mic nights.
“I went for two years straight, and soon people younger than me began asking me to open up for their bands.” he said. He continued to perfect his musical talent, and released an album called “I Just Can’t Believe” under the name The Billy Band in 2008. The album showcases “Merry Christmas Time.”
The video for “Merry Christmas Time” was filmed Jan. 5 in the span of five hours at the Red Mill Pond Clubhouse. No actors were hired, no rehearsals were held. The video featured 50 of Knego’s closest friends and neighbors enjoying one final holiday celebration in ugly sweaters and reindeer antlers. The cameras were just an added bonus.
How did one song bring an entire community together to make a video a decade after it was recorded? Like most ideas today, it all started with a Facebook comment from the Knego’s friend, Patty O’Donnell. “I put my Christmas song out on Facebook from every Thanksgiving to Jan. 1, and then it comes off,” said Bill. “Patty saw it on Facebook and commented that we should make a video. The idea was born.” O’Donnell happened to have experience with filmmaking.
“It was such a fun song, it should go viral,” she said. “When I said make a video of it, I didn’t expect that I’d be personally doing the video, but it ended up that I was able to help.”
The trio then contacted videographer Eric Davidson of Wruff-Wryder Productions to help bring the vision to life.
“It was basically us filming one of our typical parties, people having fun and dancing, just on a larger scale,” said O'Donnell.
“We wanted it that way because they weren’t actors and we needed them to be themselves.”
“Merry Christmas Time” was released Oct. 16. The foursome behind the video have high hopes.
“I think there will be a positive reaction to the video,” said Bill. “If you don’t have a good song, you won’t have a good video. I wouldn’t have put it out if I didn’t feel it was good.”
Billy Band music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Watch “Merry Christmas Time” below or go to tinyurl.com/y5dlkg46.