Ebison will be Singin’ for Business|Singing Meter Man plans on-site shows to help city merchants

Published 1:07 pm Friday, August 21, 2009

Contributing Editor

If Washington businesses are forced to suffer during the lousy economy, they and what customers they do have might as well be entertained for free, says Bill Ebison.
Ebison, known by many area residents as the Singing Meter Man, is taking his musical talents to the streets and Washington businesses Aug. 28-29.
“I’m doing it to help local merchants attract customers,” Ebison, a local music producer, said.
Ebison said his Singin’ for Business will feature shows at various businesses, with each show lasting from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. At each location, Ebison will feature customized music and jingles.
“It’s just something I wanted to do. I saw an article in the newspaper that downtown Washington needed a boost,” Ebison said.
Ebison has already created songs about Bill’s Hot Dogs, Big Bargain Furniture, Seafood Express, Lanier’s waterfront restaurant and Dellinger’s Pawn Shop. Some area radio stations play Ebison-created jingles about area businesses.
Ebison described his music and jingles as “lively, different and fun.”
With his portable sound system, Ebison said, he will not require a power connection at businesses he visits. During his performances, Ebison will sing songs that he wrote, including songs about the Original Washington and Downtown Washington on the Waterfront.
Ebison kicks off Singin’ for Business at King Chicken at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 28. His list of stops (the full schedule has been completed yet) includes the Carolina Avenue 76 service station, B&L Properties, Ship on Site, Big Bargain Furniture and Lanier’s.
“I have some more I’m adding all the time,” Ebison said.
Chris Johnson, part owner of Carolina Avenue 76, applauds Ebison’s initiative.
“I think it’s a good idea … to generate some activity and drum up some business for himself and businesses in the area,” Johnson said.
“I am definitely interested in it and seeing the turnout. I’d like to see area radio stations get involved and help publicize it,” Johnson said.
One of Ebison’s alter-egos, “Super Sheriff, Lawman on a Stick Horse,” will make appearances, handing out candy, gifts and chances to ride a stick horse from his “stable.” Children also will have opportunities to perform with the Super S Rhythm Band.
Ebison, a retired city employee, began making a name for himself — the Singing Meter Man — about 25 years ago when he worked as a meter reader. One of his songs, “My Dog Don’t Bite,” tells the story of his meter-reading days when people would tell him their dogs wouldn’t bite him as he read meters. The song makes it clear that some of those dogs did bite.
Although Ebison will not charge a fee for his shows, he will accept donations to help defray the cost of staging his performances.
Businesses interested in being included on the Singin’ for Business schedule should call Bill Ebison at 252-721-8569.