Pine Tree ISD administrator and son make music with a purpose
Feb. 16, 2015 at 11 p.m.
Father and son musical duo Harold and Matthew Jackson are ramping up the students of Pine Tree ISD one song at a time.
Harold, an assistant principal at the high school, and his musician son, Matthew, have created a theme song for the district that has become a "must have" for sporting events.
"It's called 'We Are The Pirates,' and it's something we wrote as a spirit song for the school," Harold said Monday at the duo's studio inside their Longview home.
"It's kind of become the theme song for the school," Matthew, 21, said. "When they play it, you see students dancing in the stands, and now they're wanting to buy it on iTunes."
The pair have been creating music together since Matthew was 4 and his musical talent became evident.
"He can play everything," Harold said. "He plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, banjo, mandolin - he can play anything and all types of music."
The Pine Tree Pirate theme song they created has a hip-hop beat and words set to fire up the Pirate crowd.
"Pirates never give up, Pirates never quit! You need to understand this is Pirate territory. Do the Pirate dance," Harold sings while Matthew comes up with the beat.
"We try to write the songs in the style kids like now," Harold said. "On our children's CD that's coming out this summer, we use all styles of music to keep them active and help them learn something."
The children's CD was written and self-produced when Matthew was only 13 years old.
"We both have a passion for music, and we're a unique father-son team with different perspectives, and we blend the two together. I'm old school, and he's new school with that edge," Harold said. "When we come together, you get that sound and it's really something special."
While Harold - also known as "Action Jackson" - performs most of the vocals, Matthew adds back up harmonies and carries the music.
Matthew's older sister Nyesha Jones and his younger brother Micah Jackson also add some background vocals in the pair's children's CD.
His mother, Sandra Jackson, joins in the musical productions as well.
"We're working right now to get the state of Texas to adopt this PSA (public service announcement) about trash pickup," Harold said. "One woman told me her kids listen to it and now fight over who can pick up the trash."
Harold said the catchy beats on his trash pick up announcement and children's songs are paired with information to teach children in a fun way.
"The children's CD features songs about learning how to count, learn the alphabet, learn vowels or learn animal sounds and the months of the year," Harold said. "That's how Micah learned them, from listening to the songs. I've used them in the classroom, too."
Matthew, a 2011 Spring Hill High School graduate, now pursues music full time with his band Windwalker.
"We just released our new single, which was posted on Revolver magazine," Matthew said. "It just blew up on Facebook and Twitter."
Harold, 58, said the pair is working to make the songs available on iTunes.
Matthew, meanwhile, recently won first place at the Universal Studios American Idol Experience in Orlando, Florida, earning him a front spot in the audition line for the TV show.
Matthew made it to the second round of the Austin audition for the show.
The pair also plays together on their worship team and at coffee houses and other venues.
"We played at the Gregg County's Christmas at the Courthouse event a couple of years ago," Harold said. "We played our children's songs, and the kids really got into it. They went nuts; even the parents were getting into it."
The pair plan to keep making music that educates, and could team up for more public service announcements.
"It's kind of like magic when we get in the studio," Harold said. "It all just kind of comes together. It's definitely something special between father and son."