The wedding singer: Songwriter surprises LASD deputy with performance at reception


She thought it was the longest of long shots.

Last fall, Leanne Riecke read a Behind the Badge OC story about the daughter of an Anaheim PD deputy chief who wrote and recorded a song as a tribute to her father.

That young singer-songwriter, Holly Cahill, daughter of the APD’s Dan Cahill, since has performed that song, “You Still Put the Uniform On,” numerous times before numerous groups. A video of Holly’s song, shot by BTB photographer Steven Georges, has amassed nearly 155,000 views on YouTube:

Leanne wrote a message to BTB explaining how she was engaged to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jeff LaRue, and how it would be amazing if Holly would sing her song at their wedding reception as a surprise for Jeff.

Leanne didn’t think much would come of her request.

Boy, was she wrong.

BTB forwarded Leanne’s message to Holly.

“I contacted her the next day,” Holly recalls. “I called her and when I told her who I was, she began to cry. She said that my song meant a lot to her, and that was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. Knowing that I was able to touch even one heart with my song means the world to me.”

Leanne and Holly began to email back and forth about the details of the wedding.

“We had to keep everything a secret from her fiancé, though, so it was difficult to find a time to meet in person,” Holly says. “We were able to meet two weeks before the wedding  I brought my boyfriend and she brought her daughter, Hayley, her mother and the groom’s mother. I absolutely adore all of them! They are some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Not only did we discuss the wedding details, but we sat at the restaurant for four hours just talking about our lives.”

Holly and her boyfriend attended the July 7 wedding.

“Since Leanne’s fiancé couldn’t know who I was, we made up a cover story,” Holly says. “I told everyone I was a friend of Hayley’s from church. That way we would cover up any suspicions.”

Holly attended the reception at Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills.

“After the bride and groom made their grand entrance into the reception and everyone took their seats, I was introduced,” Holly says.

“I sang standing in front of the bride’s and groom’s table. While I was singing, I saw Leanne singing every word right along with me. That was one of the most amazing experiences, to know that my song had made such an impact in someone’s life.”

The song was very well received.

“They are one of the best families I’ve ever met,” Holly says. “Not only have I made lifelong friends, but I have gained another family.”

Leanne LaRue surprises her new husband, LASD Deputy Jeff LaRue, at their wedding reception with a performance from Holly Cahill.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Holly Cahill, right, gets a hug from Leanne LaRue to thank her for singing at her wedding reception.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC