BY SHERI TRUSTY
Port Clinton is calling… again. The hit song and video, “Port Clinton’s Calling Me,” that drew over 50,000 views last year and helped highlight the city to the world, has been reborn. Performer, promoter and the project’s writer and producer, Ron Miller, revamped the lyrics and created a new video with a fresh focus.
Last year’s project promoted Port Clinton’s attractions and businesses. This year, Miller – who has worked with hundreds of legendary musicians across the country – wanted to build on the local concept and feature area residents. He enlisted Port Clinton entertainers, artists, organizations, First Responders and government entities, all of which have helped the city develop its own unique identity.
“It’s the people who answered the call,” said Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider.
About 125 people and over 25 combinations of individual musicians, bands and artists are featured in the video, which can be viewed above, and at https://youtu.be/6tIAWTk-x_U.
“It was a ‘We are the World,’ idea,” Miller said. “I reached out to local entertainers in the community and had a great response. They put their time and talents into this, and I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done.”
Last year, recording took place in Nashville, but this year, local musicians gathered with Miller at Ohio Recording Co. in Fremont, where the studio’s owner, Brennan Willis, served as the project’s studio engineer.
“We took the vocals off the Nashville track and added local vocalists, sax and harmonica,” Miller said.
The collaborating talent in the studio created a signature piece of fun marketing that tells the story of lake life in the Port Clinton area.
“Clearly, we have so many things in Port Clinton that are unique to us,” Miller said. “Port Clinton has become its own destination.”
This year, Miller added an online merchandise store where customers can purchase products like sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats that feature the “Port Clinton’s Calling Me” logo created by local artist Matt Ritter. The store will sell retail products to consumers and wholesale to local businesses who want to offer the merchandise in their shops. The store can be viewed at www.portclintonscallingme.com/store. Merchandise sales help promote Port Clinton, and support the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council (GPCAAC).
GPCAAC Vice President Keith Fleming said donations will support The Arts Garage (TAG) and the free art classes provided to Ottawa County students.
Snider said the collaboration between Miller’s project and GPCAAC will have reciprocal benefits. Merchandise sales will support the arts council, and community art attracts revenue to communties.
“Art creates commerce,” Snider said. “It’s neat how TAG is attracting artists and people from all over. It’s adding light to our community.”
This year’s video project is dedicated to local attorney and musician, Ron Nisch, who greatly impacted the local entertainment scene. Nisch died last year.
“Ron Nisch was such a good guy. He truly cared about the musicians. He understood the trials and tribulations musicians have, so he gave them all the attention they deserve,” Miller said.
Miller hopes the video launched this week will create the same level of pride in the city that last year’s project inspired.
“I’ve had so many people tell me that it made them proud of their hometown,” Miller said.