In January of 2020, carer Jaime Lee Morley overheard the beautiful singing voice of Northcare Suites Care Home resident Margaret Mackie. Though her battle with dementia had taken some of her memories, Margaret still knew all of the lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Inspired by Margaret’s talent and love of music, then-carer Jaime decided the two should record their own cover of “My Way” and release it as a UK charity track on iTunes. The world soon fell in love with Margaret’s story and their track reached #8 in the UK Top 40 Charts. Now, in the height of the holiday season, Margaret and Jaime are at it again with their newest rendition of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”
I am absolutely delighted to announce to you all that on Thursday the 3rd of December myself & superstar Margaret Mackie…
Before they were inspired to record their version of “My Way,” Margaret and Jaime first performed it at the nursing home’s 2019 Christmas karaoke party. The duet was a hit!
Jaime, who was the driving force behind getting Margaret to perform, said, “Her family and friends were there in the audience to witness this moment — and what a moment it was. For her to get up on stage at her age and have so much courage and fight and sing so beautifully absolutely blew my mind. [It’s] a moment I will never ever forget.”
The duo soon took to a nearby recording studio, SoundSound, near Edinburgh. They were able to record a high-quality take and, with Jaime’s help, their recording was soon uploaded to iTunes and quickly climbed the charts.
Margaret’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, explained how her mother’s singing has helped both her and others face the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown: “Singing is all she has got just now and it’s been getting her through this. It’s helped her and I think everyone else in there.”
Though Jaime is no longer Margaret’s carer, he still hopes to help her defy the odds once again with their newest hit, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” After sending in professional level recording equipment, quarantining the equipment for three days, and setting it up at the care facility, Margaret was able to record her part of “White Christmas” safely from her own room. Jaime then returned to SoundSound production studio and mixed the final track.
“When I listened to the track after it was all put together I cried, I am not going to lie,” said Jaime. “It’s one of the most heartwarming things I have ever heard.”
Margaret and Jaime hope to chart again with their Christmas No.1 bid, and will be donating 100 percent of the profits to two charities — the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK. Their last hit raised over $1,900 for the charities so far, but there were about 26,000 online streams that did not add to the profits. Jaime urges fans of Margaret to download the track from iTunes so that the profits can go to the charities.
“We would love to get Christmas number one and it would be an amazing achievement. But we wanted to do a single to lift spirits and keep Margaret busy. Any time she is singing or listening to music it lifts her spirits and it gets everyone involved and the public seemed to love the story last time.”