Ill man who once taught Beatles history gets a little help from his friends


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A beloved former professor is fighting for his life and battling a combination of illnesses that has him at home receiving round-the-clock care.

Now, his friends are stepping in to put a smile on his face. 

Cool spins as easy as a record for Doug Babb. He has a vote in the Grammy Awards. He taught a class on the history of The Beatles at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and is a vinyl DJ who goes by Dr. Spin.

“Music is his passion it’s what gets him through the day. It’s how he interprets the world,” said Caitlyn Young, his daughter. 

Doug’s record took on a somber note in 2016 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. In February, his illness stole his ability to play music. 

“That’s really hard because it’s what he lives for,” Young said. 

The illness also took his job at IUPUI. It has him bedridden. The music that encapsulated Doug’s life became a whisper.

“That’s the hardest part to imagine, being trapped in there aware of everything and have all of that going on,” said Dean Metcalf, one of Doug’s friends.  

But, sickness could not take away his musical soul. Metcalf has been a friend of Doug’s for a long time and that’s when he came up with this idea: Bring the music to Doug.

At first, Metcalf, and then others came to Doug’s room to play classic songs, anything that Doug wanted to hear. It grew to the point where musicians Doug did not even know coming to play.

“A lot of us musicians take it for granted it’s what we do, a nd sometimes you forget how powerful it is,” Metcalf said. 

Soon Doug’s room was alive with music.         

“To have people come and be there has been amazing thank you,” Young said to Metcalf.    

Will their music fill the walls of Doug’s room one more time? Metcalf does not know. Music is how Doug defines life. Now, it is there to comfort him however long he wants. 

Doug’s family said he needs round the clock care, which is very costly. To help with their cost, click here.

To learn more about Doug and his extraordinary career, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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