Two and a half years ago the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a group of over sixty Kentucky students ranging from ages seven to fourteen, posted a YouTube video of the group performing the 1980 hit “Crazy Train.” The video has since received over eight hundred thousand views including one by Ozzy Osbourne. While he may have been a little late in the game, Osbourne decided to make up for his delay in discovering the video by donating $10,000 to the Louisville Leopard Percussionists. The group, which is a non-profit organization formed in the early 90s run by elementary teacher Diane Downs, also received a short note from Osbourne along with his donation. The letter, which gained attention after a photo of both the check and letter were posted on the Courier Journal’s twitter, reads “Myself, my whole family and my fans all loved your rendition of ‘Crazy Train.’ Keep up the good work.”
Downs, who started her first percussion ensemble using old instruments she found lying around in the Louisville school where she taught, talked to NPR about how excited she was for the students and the recognition the video was gaining, stating that she wants them to realize “that when you’re presenting something to the public, you don’t want it to be okay — you want it to be great.” She also mentioned that she hopes the kids “feel like rock stars” and that the students will carry on doing their best at everything they do as they continue to grow up.
“Crazy Train” isn’t the only popular single the children have covered. Recently the group have taken the stage with My Morning Jacket, and received Facebook praise from Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page after covering “Kashmir,” “The Ocean,” and “Immigrant Song.”
Osbourne himself, has recently been in the news for his feud with drummer Bill Ward, and the possibility of a final Black Sabbath tour. In a press conference in Brazil last month, Osbourne discusses the idea of a final album and tour saying, “The plan is that next year [we’ll do] the final Black Sabbath tour and album.” He also stated that once his work with Black Sabbath is over, he will continue touring and recording as a solo artist saying, “I’m still gonna continue my solo career. I’m doing these few [solo] gigs down here [in South America] now. Then at the beginning of next year, I’m going out with SABBATH.” He continues, “the SABBATH thing is folding up after the next tour, but I’m gonna continue my solo career.”
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