Making a Difference: Laney O'Briant - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Making a Difference: Laney O'Briant

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HOLMES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Laney O'Briant has been a musical fixture around Holmes County for decades. He has performed on some records, even. And one Sunday a month you can catch him at his latest regular gig at Lexington Manor.

He first picked up the guitar as a teenager back in 1954 and learned the latest styles of music.  

"Back when we first started we were doing Webb Pierce and people like that, you know. Jimmie Rodgers. Webb Pierce, the old type country," said O'Briant. "And then rockabilly started. And we started doing Carl Perkins, Elvis, Fats Domino."  

He played in Mack Allen Smith's band for a while, and still plays with him occasionally.  

"I think it was six albums that we cut; overseas, England," added O'Briant. "And they are still being distributed over there and the tapes.  

 Laney O'Briant also sold insurance in addition to his off-hours musical career. And became a much sought after musician for dances and parties in the area and is a very good lead guitar player.  

Now, for years, Laney and a group of fellow musicians have rotated around devoting themselves to playing Sunday afternoons at area nursing homes. Lisa Williamson is the administrator at Lexington Manor and says the residents there love it when the musicians come.  

"They remember the songs from the past and that's wonderful to see their smiles on their face," said Williamson. "And too, enjoy the music."  

Laney has had a long career, and has some health issues himself recently. He was in the hospital for weeks. He could be like the rest of us and just take a nap on Sunday afternoon, now. Instead, he still gives up his time to make someone else's day. Why?  

"I feel like the Lord has asked me to do that," said O'Briant. "And I feel like he wants me to show and example for, some example to maybe encourage other people, if they get down and in the hospital not to give up."  

Laney O'Briant of Holmes County takes his talent for guitar and puts it to good use, making a difference for other folks.

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