Original UK music spreads over internet



Musicians across the country have found a new muse. It’s not clichéd topics of love or heartbreak. The inspiration: UK basketball.

With a resurrected program and a very real chance at a deep run into the NCAA tourney, the UK men’s basketball team has been catching the attention of its fans and many of them are responding — on YouTube.

16-year-old Caleb Epley sat down at his computer in Rockport, Ind., with a guitar and harmonica and sang his ode to UK point guard John Wall. When he told his girlfriend about the video he’d made, she wanted to see it and he posted it on YouTube for her to watch. Two months later, over 32,000 people have watched “The John Wall Song.”

“I didn’t ever think it’d get seen as much as it has. I just did it for myself and so my girlfriend could see it.” Epley said.

Still a high school student in Indiana, Epley said he makes sure to watch every single game he can on TV,  and still followed the team through the down years. But he said it’s been a relief to see the team back on top.

“I think (Calipari) took UK back to where it needs to be,” Epley said. “We went through that slump for a couple years and Calipari and the recruits brought the rock star feel back to it. That’s what the song is all about”

After writing the song in less than an hour, and 11 takes in front of a webcam, the song was ready and chock-full of lines about Wall such as “More beast in him than a grizzly bear and more highlights than a stripper’s hair.”

Epley isn’t the only one whose attention has been captured by this revamped UK team. 22-year-old Raleigh, N.C. rapper Isaiah Ford, better known as Cash, had a friendship with Wall before Wall left to come to UK. Despite his allegiance to the Tarheels, Cash said Wall and the new recruits have made him an undercover UK fan.

“I’m a Carolina fan, but I had watched Rondo play ball for UK,” Ford said. “But they show Wall games in Raliegh. He brought light to that city. He turned me into a Kentucky fan.”

Cash’s “Do Da John Wall” is as much dedicated to the dance craze as it is to the team itself, hosting the refrain “Bang on ‘em, flex on ‘em, do the John Wall.”

“John Wall is my homeboy, man,” Ford said. “I was really just writing the song for him. I didn’t think 70,000 people would check it out. Y’all are crazy.”

While Calipari’s revamped squad may be catching the attention of new younger fans, veteran UK fan Ryan Parker has been just as captivated by the team.

Parker has his own website, www.ryanparkersongs.com, dedicated to both serious and humorous songs about sports. UK has been the focal point of many of them, ranging from his song about growing up watching UK basketball, “I Bleed Blue” to his celebration of the hiring of Calipari, “Caliparication”

Three different musicians in three different states, all fueled by the same inspiration. Now all they need to hope for is that Calipari puts together just as good a team for next year so they can keep pumping out the hits — on their YouTube pages that is.