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Lewis Lusk always wanted to become a country music star, but he put his family first, setting his major musical aspirations aside.
To help Lusk celebrate Father’s Day, TODAY surprised him with the gift of recording his own original track at the iconic Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. And Lusk got a little help from a new friend: country singer Josh Turner.
“It's all been wonderful,” Lusk said on TODAY Thursday. “This has been a dream come true for me."
While Lusk has loved composing and signing at nursing homes throughout the years, his priority has always been being a dad.
“I have always thought of them first,” he said about his kids. “They meant so much to me. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
“We tried years ago to get him to be a star,” Lusk’s son, Jeff, said, so Jeff, TODAY and MadeMan.com partnered up to make it happen.
TODAY’s Al Roker brought Lusk to the Memphis studio, hallowed ground where country legends like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash recorded some of their biggest hits.
That’s where Lusk met Turner, and the country singer helped Lusk perfect his original tune, “Sally & Jack” before the recording session.
“I never had any doubt when I was 13 years old that, one day, I was going be doing like you're doing,” Lusk said to Turner. “But more important things came up. You know? I had to take care of the bills. I had to feed the kids."
After enough practice that he sounded like a pro, Lusk’s family came in to hear the brand new studio version of his song. He now has a keepsake recording to pass down to his children and granddaughters.
“These little girls here are going to have this when they grow up and get married and they have children,” Turner told Lusk. “They are going to be able to play this and hear your voice and your heart through this.”
Lisa A. Flam, a regular contributor to TODAY.com, is a news and lifestyles reporter in New York. Follow her on Twitter.