Proving it's never too late, 84-year-old Kathy Crouse debuted her first recorded song Friday at Charlestown's Denim and Diamonds Gala.
Crouse, a resident at Charlestown Retirement Community, has always used her musical talents to bring happiness to others. She plays honky-tonk piano and also sings weekly at Charlestown.
In addition to playing organ at her church in Ellicott City, Crouse plays the accordion and drums at various events.
Though she never received any formal musical training, she had always wanted to record a song. She co-wrote "Shining Star" with Dean Crawford, previous recipient of the Maryland Music Association's Songwriter of the Year award.
"Shining Star" tells the story of Crouse's ability to overcome live's challenges. She and Crawford recorded "Shining Star" at Garrick Alden Studios in Silver Spring, Md.
In addition to her musical talents, Crouse writes poetry and once worked as a car hop, box factory associate and cook. She and her late husband of 62 years, Edward, operated a 9-acre farm in Carroll County. She cared for three people from Spring Grove Hospital for 22 years. She also raised four foster children in addition to her two sons and daughter. She has two grandchildren.
The Catonsville native currently volunteers with the Gideons International giving Bibles written in Spanish to student workers at Charlestown.
"Shining Star" Lyrics:
When I first moved to Charlestown, my tears they fell like rain My husband had just passed away and my heart was filled with pain.
I didn’t think that I would make it, or if I’d even smile again And then I called out to the heavens, to my father, my one true friend.
Lord help me father, I am all alone, in this great big mansion that so many call their home.
And He reached down and touched me; He said I’m always around And I’m right here beside you, in this place called Charlestown
Pretty soon there was a ray of light and I was no longer sad and blue And I found that many people were loving what I do.
I play the piano and sing my songs for everyone around Now everybody knows my name in this place they call Charlestown
Thank you father, for leading me here, to a place where I belong where so many people that care.
I’ve lived up to your calling and I’ll be ready when you are But till then I will keep on singing and being a Charlestown Star Maybe one day I’ll see my name, on the Charlestown walk of fame.