Maine musicians, credit unions raise money for meals with new album

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FALMOUTH — While some people want to earn a million dollars when they sell a CD, Con Fullam wants to raise a million meals.

The Windham producer recently released “The Amazing Music of Mainers, Volume One,” which features songs by 26 Maine musicians, including Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary, “American Pie” composer Don McLean, and the late Dan Fogelberg, whose “The Reach” is a classic ode to Maine.

There are also songs by Rudy Vallee, writer of “The Maine Stein Song,” as well as Devonsquare, Dick Curless, Cindy Bullens, Jonathan Edwards, Aztec Two Step, David Mallett, Rustic Overtones and Bill Chinnock, among others.

Fullam himself contributes “The Busy Song.” He also penned “The Maine Christmas Song,” which he said has sold 100,000 copies; it is included in this collection as a track by the Windham Chambers Singers.

Fullam started his first band in the early 1960s at age 14 and toured solo and with backup singers until the mid-1980s, when he got on “the other side of the window” and began producing other artists.

“I just called them all up,” he said about getting the artists involved in this album, many of whom he already knew.

The effort is assisting the Maine Credit Union League’s campaign to end hunger. In the endeavor’s 20 years, Maine credit unions have raised more than $3.5 million to aid Maine families in need. Fullam said he hopes to provide them with one million meals from the album’s sales.

Fullam said his connection to the Maine Credit Union League is through its governmental and public affairs manager, Jon Paradise. Paradise is a former disc jockey who played Fullam’s songs. When Fullam heard from Paradise about the league’s campaign, his interest was piqued: “I said, hmm, it sounds like a most worthy cause; let’s see what we can do,” he recalled.

Fullam said he got to know several of the artists through “The Maine Christmas CD,” a previous commercial compilation album with musicians such as Stookey, Schooner Fare and Devonsquare.

The new compilation includes two discs and a booklet with information on the backgrounds, musical histories and connection of the artists to Maine. Fullam said it was difficult to choose the artists for the first volume, and that a second is “almost a sure thing.”

“It really is a historical record,” Fullam said, noting that its songs trace back to Vallee in the 1920s, and reach to the present day with bands like Rustic Overtones.

The participating artists have together sold more than 200 million records and accumulated hundreds of top 10 hits and at least 15 Grammy awards.

“It’s sort of a fascinating … exposition of the amazing talents that have come out of this state,” Fullam said.

The $19.99 album is for sale at credit unions, Mr. Paperback, Border’s, Best Buy, Bull Moose and the Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty locations. It can also be purchased online at mainevillepublishing.com and exiles.com.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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Proceeds from the new album, “The Amazing Music of Mainers, Volume One,” go toward meals for those in need.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.