Singer Songwriter Participated in Week Long Historic Commemoration for Hunley Crew.
Young musicans joined in with Stan!
The week of April 12-17, 2004 was an unforgettable week for Stan Clardy and his wife Cathy. The singer, songwriter and Statesville resident took part in the events commemorating the crews of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which was the first submarine to sink a ship in combat. "It's a real honor to be asked to participate," said Clardy. The story of the Hunley began in 1863 when it was built as a means of breaking the Union blockade of the Confederate ports along the Atlantic coast. The submarine did not return from its final mission and was lost for over a hundred and thirty years until it was discovered in 1995. When the craft was finally raised in May of 2000 it triggered interest around the world. It also caught the attention of Clardy.
Already a songwriter and playwright, Stan was inspired to write a song entitled "Hunley Shine On" which was included in his CD "God Save the South." "I wanted to tell the story of the ship and the men who sailed on her the only way I knew how", said Stan. "The more I learned about the Hunley the more the story grabbed me." Eventually Stan's song came to the attention of members of the Hunley Commission, which is in charge of the conservation efforts for the submarine. Stan performed his song, "Hunley Shine On" at the ceremony Saturday morning at White Point Gardens.
The remains of the Hunleys crew were recovered and laid to rest with full honors on April 17th, and the Hunley commission wanted to be sure that there would be an opportunity for others to witness and experience this historic event. With over 100,000 people there to participate and honor the brave crew of the Hunley, it was an event that touched every Southern heart!
The week of events leading up to the burial on April 17th included memorial services, lantern tours, dramatic presentations and, of course, music." The world came to Charleston", said Clardy," It's truly an international event, we met people from Australia, Germany, UK, New Zealand and all over the United States. Clardy performed his song, as well as his original songs and music of the War Between the States period. He also presented his one man musical "Soldiers in Gray, A Musical Journey" on Wednesday, April 14th at the museum of Charleston.
At some of the events six very special young people accompanied Stan. "I met these talented young musicians at various events we attend, and I wanted to get them involved in this event. It's history in the making, and they are the ones who will preserve this history when we all are long gone." Caroline Cox and her sisters "The Cox Sisters" (Sarah, Cathrine and Charlotte) of Southern Pines, NC played violin, Garman Bowers of Boonesboro, MD and Aaron Cregar of Frederick, MD performed fife and drum with some of Stan's performances. "They are all incredibly gifted, Stan said, and I enjoyed sharing the stage with these talented kids!."
The saga of the Hunley has also inspired Stan to write a novel about the submarine and its crew. "TimeLight: A Journey into the Past" is Stans first effort at writing and the historical, fictional work was released in May of 2003 to a good reception. It's inspired by the mysteries surrounding the Hunley. "Writing the book was an adventure in itself."