Hospital Singer Heals Sick Patients With Guitar

They say laughter is the best medicine, and music soothes the soul. One Albuquerque man is doing just that for patients at Lovelace Medical Center--with a joke and a song.

He's known around Lovelace Medical Center as Elvis. The sideburns might give him away, but it's the guitar that gives him his name. "Whenever I swipe out on my card is when I pick up my guitar," said Charlie Miller.

Miller has worked for Lovelace for almost five decades. He clocks in to work, then out to sing. "I think music heals," Miller said. "I like lifting their spirits."

Miller says he started singing when he was 14. Much to the delight of patients, he has quite the repertoire. "It brought back a lot of good memories," said Kenneth Johnson, a Lovelace patient. Johnson added, "He's very talented."

It's not just patients who need a little boost every so often. Miller's co-workers say he helps them heal too. "It makes me happy, it makes my day better," said John Ramacciotti, R.N. "Music itself really is a great medicine," he added.

Miller says he just likes to make people smile, and yes, he does take requests. "I do some blues, some Elvis, Roy Orbison, country, no reggae."

Miller's job at Lovelace is basically getting patients to where they need to be. When he does that, he says he's always cracking jokes and telling stories. He says he's never had a grumpy patient.

Charlie Miller serenades a sick patient at Lovelace Medical Center.


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