Click above to donate, buy a CD or register for help from the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund.
Click above to donate, buy a CD or get help from the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund.
 
Webb Dalton of the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund or gcmmf.org.
Webb Dalton

By John Mullen

August. 14, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – For Webb Dalton, health insurance hasn’t been a big issue in his life. With 30 years of service in law enforcement, his jobs have pretty much taken care of that.

But in his 40 years of playing music, he’s had several friends playing music full time who weren’t as lucky.

“It was little over two years ago I lost three good friends of mine who were musicians over basically minor health issues,” Dalton said. “If they could have been caught it could have possibly prevented what ultimately happened. Like diabetes, COPD and the flu.”

Since then Dalton has quietly worked to help put together a new charity to help musicians along the northern Gulf Coast.

“I thought about it, prayed hard about it and I basically thought of a charity that would cover urgent care, minor med office visits and also cover the prescription costs,” he said. The announcement of the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund happened on Aug. 4 at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. It will be officially launched on Sept. 15.

The Flora-Bama started a similar program a few years ago and currently has a musicians' health plan in a partnership Southern Rapid Care that covers the cost of an urgent care visit with the musician paying a $30 co-pay, majority owner John McInnis III said. The Flora-Bama and the clinic share the costs above the co-pay.

To help raise the money for his new program, Dalton is selling his own new gospel CD on the www.gcmmf.org  site with all the proceeds going to the charity. He’s also planning a big fundraiser for Oct. 27 and is looking for the right spot to host it. You can also donate directly by visiting the site.

Donate to the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund at gcmmf.org“I’ve been wanting to cut a gospel CD,” Dalton said. “About three months I posted on Facebook I wanted to do a gospel CD and a friend of mine, Bruce Carroll, he’s led music in Memphis at Hope Church for like 15 years said let’s do it. That was even before I told him I wanted to do it for the charity because I wanted to record the CD for the Gulf Coast Musicians Medical Fund. I wanted to be able to sell something and raise money for the charity.”

The CD titled “Things Left Undone” will include that title track and several traditional gospel songs like “Uncloudy Day,” “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” “I Saw the Light,” “How Great Thou Art,” “In the Garden,” “The Old Rugged Cross” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

“Once the CD comes out we’re going to start reaching out to the community,” Dalton said. “We’ve already started preselling CDs from the website, gcmmf.org.”

Dalton said musicians are pretty much making the same money they have for more than 30 years and it’s hard for them to make ends meet.

“I actually make the same amount I made at gigs 40 years ago; I made a $100, $150 playing gigs at clubs and restaurants,” he said. “That’s about what we make now. Asking a musician who’s living gig to gig to pay $100 or $150 for an urgent care minor med visit and then pay $300 or $400 for the prescriptions stemming from that, there’s just no way.”

He hopes the restaurants and bars will be contributors to the fund. Several smaller fundraisers will be organized after the big one to launch the effort in October.

“We are going to be reaching out to restaurants and bars that basically use full-time musicians,” he said. “We plan to bring people in to come in and enjoy the music. The restaurants and clubs are benefiting and hopefully, they’ll understand the need and see the need to be able to help our brother and sister musicians out. These musicians living gig to gig as full-time musicians and songwriters, I think it’s a group of folks that’s been forgotten about.”

The charity will aim to help musicians in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, Dalton said. It is a registered 501(c)3 charity and has an accountant and lawyer on board.

As for Dalton, the business side of music is not his favorite but he realizes it is a necessary part.

“I just want to play music, write and fish,” he said. “I’ve been a part of the music business for years and I love the music side of it but I hate the business side. But they call it the music business for a reason.”