Behind The Scenes

Band 1985’s Summer Forever is
Little League World Series’ theme

It’s August and children everywhere are again wondering how summer could pass by so quickly.

They are shopping for new back-to-school clothes, stocking up on pencils and notebooks and enjoying the last moments of summer freedom before the new school year arrives.

It’s in that spirit that songwriters Andy Dodd and Adam Watts wrote Summer Forever, an original song that will lead into ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 Little League World Series (LLWS) in Williamsport, Pa. beginning Thursday, Aug. 16.

“It’s a really fun, positive, upbeat song about all the great things about summer,” said Kevin Wilson, ESPN’s music director. “They just really captured the spirit of summer with a youthful attitude.”

In the past, ESPN has utilized its relationship with The Walt Disney Company to feature the Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock, High School Musical and Phineas and Ferb as part of the LLWS creative.

This year, the promotion included a baseball carnival themed shoot of the LLWS telecast opening at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn. — just across the street from ESPN’s headquarters.

(See the “making of” video of the ESPN’s Little League World Series “open” above. Scenes from this shoot will be seen throughout ESPN’s LLWS programming. ESPN thanks Lake Compounce for its cooperation on this project.)

Wilson and his team reached out to Disney to create an original song that would capture the theme of summertime fun.

Dodd and Watts then sat down to writing (through Skype, as there are many miles between them) and Summer Forever was born. [TO HEAR A SAMPLE, CLICK HERE]

Band members of 1985 Top L-R Tom DeGrazia; Cameron Walker-Wright, Bottom L-R Kyle Hulett; Taylor Enzminger, Not Pictured: Julian Walker-Wright.
(Photo courtesy of Tom DeGrazia)

Wilson reached out to the band 1985 to perform and record the song and the group –including Southport, Conn. native Cameron Walker-Wright — eagerly took on the project. Their music, discovered by music assistant Jason Go, had previously been featured in a montage on ESPN’s First Take when host Jay Crawford left the program in June.

“We loved their young, pop, edge and thought they’d be great for Summer Forever,” Wilson added.

1985 put their own spin on the song and completed production within a few days. This coming week, they’ll also travel to Williamsport to create a music video for the song on a Little League baseball field.

“We just knew that this would be a really awesome opportunity for us. We were ecstatic about it and couldn’t wait to get to work,” said band member Tom DeGrazia. “We couldn’t be more stoked to be part of it.”

The result is a youthful, energetic, summertime hit that will strike a chord with children and adults alike.

“Even as an adult, you wish you could go back to that time period. You don’t really get a summer break where you don’t have to worry about the things you normally worry about. We always hope to write something that works for kids but also has a deeper layer that everybody can connect to and relate to,” said Dodd.

Dodd and Watts have worked closely with The Walt Disney Company and the Disney Music Group on a variety of projects including Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Camp Rock and Let it Shine.

“I don’t think we ever get used to that feeling of satisfaction in seeing your work being used on a platform that is seen by so many people — it’s super exciting and it’s really fun,” Dodd added.

Summer Forever will debut as a single on Aug. 28 and be available for purchase from all major digital retailers.

Video produced by David Williams

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