Con Fullam, right, chats Tuesday with musician Denny Breau during a break in the Lewiston City Council meeting. A video of Fullam’s “Oh Lewiston” debuted at the meeting. The song, featuring many Maine artists, including Breau, aims to uplift the city after the Oct. 25 mass shooting. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Con Fullam was asked to write a song about Lewiston more than 20 years ago, but he hadn’t given it much thought until the deadly Oct. 25 shooting.

“At that time, the song came back to me, and I felt that its positive message could lift spirits badly in need,” he said.

Fullam, a Maine native and accomplished music producer with five Emmy nominations, then approached the city about producing a new version of “Oh, Lewiston.” He got well-known Maine musicians Denny Breau, Brooke LaChance, Eddie Boucher and Efra Bacerra on board, and went into studios in Portland and Lewiston to track it.

The video presented to city officials in Lewiston on Tuesday shows a performance of the song along with two dozen other performers singing along, interspersed with photos from the city and cameos from Patrick Dempsey, Maine’s congressional delegation and Gov. Janet Mills.

“All of us involved in the making of this music video are deeply honored to be a part of it,” Fullam said.

According to a news release, Fullam originally wrote the song at the request of Lew Colby, who at the time was general manager of WCSH-TV, for a promotional campaign celebrating Lewiston.

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“The lyrics in ‘Oh Lewiston’ still hold true today and shine a light on city’s heritage, perseverance, and unwavering can-do spirit,” said Mayor Carl Sheline. “We were first introduced to the song when pursuing the All-America City designation and were pleased to be reminded of it when Mr. Fullam reached out. For 28 music professionals from throughout the state of Maine to collaborate without hesitation and at no cost to the city is simply extraordinary.”

During the council meeting, Dot Perham-Whittier, communications coordinator, said she worked with Fullam and his team throughout the process, and was even able to sit in on a recording session in Portland.

“He has put together an unbelievable ensemble of Maine musicians,” she said.

Fullam, who grew up in Sidney and Waterville, has amassed a renowned career in music and is well known for “The Maine Christmas Song,” which he wrote in 1986.

However, he also founded the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus, a multinational immigrant and refugee girl’s chorus. The group has performed for Bono at a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations; and marked the end of pandemic lockdowns with YoYo Ma at a concert in Bar Harbor celebrating Juneteenth.

Fullam is also responsible for creating The Wompkees, an animated television series for children on PBS, and was the creator and showrunner of Greenlight Maine and Elevating Voices, among other credits.

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During his career, Fullam’s appeared on stage with legendary artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, Joan Armatrading, Willie Nelson and more.

The new version of “Oh, Lewiston” was recorded at The Studio Portland in Portland and at Efra Becerra Studio in Lewiston. It was mixed and mastered by Steve Drown and the video was filmed and edited by Reg Groff and Joe Coolbrith.

Performers in the video are leads Denny Breau and Brook LaChance, Scott Elliot, Pat Colwell, Sierra Harris, Dan Merrill, Barney Martin, Don Campbell, Firefly, Katie Daggett, Cali Rossen, Ed Boucher, Amina Mahamat, Joan Kennedy, Yvette Faulkner, Anni Clark, Clara Bongamo, Jeanne Martin, Efra Becerra, Eli Bacerra-Grieve and Kaylee Kazadi.

Some city staff and officials provided some of the photos used in the video.

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