FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV) Byron Cooper has performed across North Central West Virginia since he started singing in the 70s.
A Fairmont man wanted to give his neighbors a reason to smile over the weekend. So – he gave them a show. (Submitted Photo: Byron Cooper)
“I just like singing,” he said. “Whether it’s for one person or 100,000.”
But he’s never had a concert or reaction like he had Saturday.
That crowd consisted of only his neighbors in Fairmont. But the videos of his performance reached an audience far beyond the confines of the city’s East Side.
“I just wanted to have something for people to come out and have a good time,” Cooper said. “I had no idea the response I was going to get.”
Cooper’s had the idea for a while. Then on Saturday, the weather cooperated people were already sitting on their porches.
He planned to sing six songs but ended up doing more than twice that amount.
People stood in the streets cell phones in hand as they captured the moment.
An impromptu concert for a couple of dozen people has now lifted the spirits of thousands on social media.
“People need some hope,” Cooper said. “They need something to look forward to. Being in the house can make people go stir-crazy. I myself am a social butterfly. I immediately thought, “I can do this.”
His grand finale, God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood, had the whole neighborhood singing along Saturday. He capped off the night with a chant of U.S.A.
“One thing I do know is that if we stay in our houses and we focus on what we can focus on, this too shall pass,” Cooper said.
Saturday’s concert was just the beginning, Cooper said. He set up on his porch on Vermont Avenue at 5 p.m. Monday and planned to sing until 8 p.m.