As described in the earlier Posts/Blogs, my musical and performance inclinations were greatly affected and enhanced and influenced by my parents, my grandparents, other Louisiana performing artists, and growing up in the Bayou State…in general.
Another interesting bit of factual trivia is that Country Music Superstar, Andy Griggs (“You Will Never Be Lonely”, and other Top 20 Hits), and I attended the same, small, country church in West Monroe, Louisiana. Andy’s father (Darryl), and the church’s pastor (Billy Hornsby), and I were all friends…..and, we all loved pickin’ and singin’ Gospel songs. I vividly remember watching Andy and his brother, Mason (R.I.P.), performing in church services.
Church life in the rural South is a real and vibrant and wonderful dynamic in the community life. Many of the entertainment world’s finest performers (musicians, singers, writers, et cetera) got their ‘start’, as it were, playing and singing in church. And, to me, one of the beautiful things about Country Music is that it has so many connections to Faith, Friends, & Family. The songs tell a story about life and the human condition. And, many of Country Music’s artists (famous and not so famous) have deep religious roots of inspiration and determination and restoration. And, life in Louisiana was that way; and, still is to this day. Another Pastor friend of mine, Julian Brandon (God rest his soul) was also a guitar picker who loved both Gospel and Country Music. It was always a treat, to me, to stop by his house and ‘pick out a few tunes’, together. Plus, he was a good fishing buddy, as well.
Also, my “first, step-cousin, removed” (and also my dear friend & barber)…Elvin Crawford…played in a Southern Gospel Quartet Band. And, if a guitar player or bass player or singer couldn’t make a ‘gig’, I would tag along and fill in. Elvin…also a great Southern gentleman and philosopher and storyteller…did some very early Elvis impersonations, during his younger years. We loved pickin’ and singin’…Gospel and Country tunes…and telling good jokes. I miss Elvin. But, the good news is that all of my old Louisiana guitar pickin’ buddies and I will pick and grin and sing again, one day, “In The Land That Is Fairer Than Day”. Amen. 🙂
As a musician/singer/songwriter/recording artist/performing artist/et cetera growing up in Louisiana and singing both Gospel Music & Country Music, many wonderful ‘doors of opportunity’ opened up for me to travel and perform all over the Ark-La-Miss (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi) first…then around the country…then overseas, in countries such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and others. But, more about that when we post/blog about the ‘Pre-Nashville Days: The U.K. Connections & The Australian Connections.
Yes, you read it correctly, I was a recording and performing artist (Country Music, Gospel Music, & Contemporary Christian Music) long before ever setting foot in Nashville.
Well…I suppose that is enough for now. Stay tuned! Much more to come!
Ciao for now. Your pal,