WEEKEND – HAPPY

I can see that this particular weekend is going to be one that stirs up my emotions.  All my emotions.   Let’s start with Happy!

I’ve had this poster on my kitchen wall for about a month now.

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It’s always fun to anticipate this annual Southern Gospel Quartet concert in our area, and “O Happy Days,”  this was the weekend!    I have a “history” with this kind of music.  Not only did I grow up among Southerners who sang this kind of music just naturally “around the house”  but when I got into college,  I was the piano player for a men’s Gospel Trio.     I banged out the accompaniment  (rather badly)  and they sang out the Gospel songs (rather badly)  but we had a good time performing in little churches and once in a great big auditorium packed with people.     There’s a kind of fellowship among lovers of Gospel music.

These kind of songs stick in your mind and cheer your heart.    I find myself humming them once in a while.    I remember a surprising amount of the lyrics.    (And If I were the kind,  I’d raise my hands and clap right into the air!     It’s that kind of music!)

I might have done some of that last evening:

SAMSUNG Son and I had  a seat way in the back,  but we really could see everything and hear everything.   (Those five ghostly white people way up there on the stage are some  of the eight singers from the two Quartets which performed. )  They had the traditional sound, which is the best way to experience these numbers.

The leader of one Quartet is Mark Trammel who sang with the Cathedrals some time ago,  who our own Men’s Gospel Trio had tried to imitate.   If I tell you we also tried to imitate the Blackwood Brothers and the Imperials,  I’d be telling you my age.   Nevertheless, you can look these groups up on YouTube — and just let your feet start tapping along.      (For fun,  I’d recommend looking for “The Fourth Man”  or how about:  “This Old House”. . . Or how about enjoying J.D. Sumner and Elvis Presley singing together: “Lord Help Me Jesus.”  Oh, boy.)

The men of the other Quartet were younger in age.  They were in their twenties and to my wonderment belted out a fine strong bass voice that supported a high and wild tenor and an impressive baritone.   These guys are going to carry Gospel music successfully on down to the next generations.

I rarely listen to recorded music in my home or in my car,   but… I think I might a little more often now.

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I didn’t “succumb” to their stage offers.   All along I was hoping they’d brought some CDs for us to purchase, and I was glad they had.   What a Happy concert that was!   I’m going to take some Happy along with me.

I do hope you’ll give one of these Quartet concerts in your area and enjoy something really different.    It’s home-grown American music!

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