Sending a child to do a grownup job on The Glory Road

By Anita Garner

Brother Ray Jones and Nita Faye 1950’s

They had me singing on the radio in Columbus Georgia at the age of 3.  No adjustable microphone.  I stood on chairs or sometimes boxes or crates stacked up in front of a tall boom microphone. The mic faced the disc jockey/announcer/sometimes station owner operating the controls on the other side of the glass.

By the time I was 7 or 8, Daddy chose a new repertoire for me, deciding which songs would help him put across the message he was about to preach.  He taught me to sing  one of his favorites, a song with dramatic lyrics and a big buildup.  From the start it didn’t feel like something I’d ask a little girl to sing, but I performed it for years because he asked me to.  In this picture from the 1950s I’m singing “Then Jesus Came.”  Daddy’s playing steel guitar over there beside me, every now and then saying “Yes Lord” the way people in our churches worshipped out loud.

I didn’t get the full story told in this song until I heard George Beverly Shea sing it on one of Billy Graham’s early radio shows.  Then I thought, that’s how it’s supposed to sound and announced to Daddy I didn’t want to sing it anymore.

Here’s a version I like. This is Larry Wayne Morbitt, singing at a Gaither Gospel show. Larry toured with Phantom of the Opera and to my mind, his is the voice this story requires.

Look closely at the front of the pulpit in the picture.  Mother had just completed one of her chalk drawings (See previous blog) which would be auctioned off at the end of the service.

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4 thoughts on “Sending a child to do a grownup job on The Glory Road”

  1. The picture is a precious moment. Wish I could hear you singing but Larry Wayne Morbitt is a marvelous talent I’ve never heard before. His performance exudes conviction and belief. Another marvelous post.

  2. I’m glad to have that picture and glad to get to hear Larry Wayne sing that song the way it deserves to be sung!

  3. I’m the music chairman for our congregation. Each week we sing three or four hymns, some are more familiar than others, but they all bring the spirit. We have one young fellow who has been attending regularly for about a year, arriving on an old bicycle. He is ragged, greasy, and high. If you talk to him directly, he looks right on through, the shock of his condition taking over his ability to respond. But when we sing, he is singing out, every word. His face is filled with peace. Thank you for blessing the listeners with your talent. It makes a big difference for so many to have good music in church and at home.

  4. Allison, what a beautiful story. I’m glad to meet you this way and share stories with you. You have a way with words and, as my Daddy would say, “a heart for the music.”

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