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Nursing home patient a headliner


Singer Earl Hines, 72, a resident at the Lotus Care Center in L.A.’s Crenshaw District, will be leading the Pay It Forward Volunteer Band (a group that performs exclusively for nursing homes all over LosAngeles) when they perform their Nostalgic Christmas Show at the facility on today at 5 p.m.

Hines was a pretty big deal back in the day, performing with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner back in the ’60s, as well as ZZ Hill, and even Lowell Fulson when Hines was a young man. “He’s been retired for more than 15years, but singing with this band is like receiving a new lease on life,” said Fred Jackson, the administrator of the facility. “When he sang a couple of songs with this band last month, he lit up like a Christmas tree.

“So we thought that Christmas was a good time to hook Mr. Hines up with the band.”

Lotus Care Center, at 6011 West Blvd. near Slauson and Crenshaw, is one of 50 skilled nursing facilities the Pay it Forward Band performs for between Dec. 3 and Christmas Day. The unique band, comprising ages 9 to 90, has more than 120 volunteer musicians and combines full-time professional musicians, talented amateurs and students. The group fields as many as three six-to-12-piece jazz ensembles a day in order to meet their quota.

A band spokesperson said that besides having the opportunity to perform with a great singer, who at 72 years of age “still has it,” they are committed to the idea that music is very powerful therapy.