The Glory Road – Let’s put on a show!

Here’s how The Glory Road book became a play first. I began writing the book years ago, put it aside and turned to short stories. A Los Angeles broadcast buddy, Don Barrett, introduced me to estimable literary agent, Carol Schild, who suggested I make the stories into a play.  Entertaining friends got together and we put on a show.

Multiple talents made up the casts, offering suggestions all along. There were revisions and more revisions, all valuable lessons for a first-time playwright.  I was new to it.  They weren’t.

Both directors, David Atkinson and Greg (North) Zerkle, (accomplished actors and directors – and boy can they sing!) are friends I met at church in Los Angeles.  The casts for each show started in our congregation and kept extending out to performing friends of friends.   The church we had in common was Little Brown Church in Studio City which grew into Church Of The Valley, Van Nuys.  These two congregations were populated with singers and musicians and dancers and writers and actors and radio and television and movie and Broadway babies.

I keep rewrite notes attached to each of these script versions in the picture above. Once the new book is launched, I hope to see The Glory  Road onstage again, full throttle, lots of music and our show’s Southern Gospel quartet in matching jackets, beautiful harmony, Ray and Fern and their big love story and big conflicts.

Here’s a version of the song we opened with onstage. Our quartets rocked! Written in the 1950’s by Lee Roy Abernathy, this version of “He’s A Personal Savior” is performed by the Gaither Vocal Band.

https://youtu.be/rxm5T4glGPg

Bonus – another Lee Roy Abernathy song he’s most famous for.  Performed here by The Blackwood Brothers. Originally titled “A Wonderful Time Up There,” it quickly became known as “Gospel Boogie.” This one’s made for a bass singer.  Singing bass here, it’s J.D. Sumner, who sang on my mother’s recording sessions for Fern Jones/The Glory Road in Nashville while at the same time recording at RCA with Elvis.

https://youtu.be/B2xPVfOvp2o

 

 

 

 

Kinky Boots

Listen to this blog here.

I love to tell this story. It’s about generous performers, actors and singers, and four degrees of separation.  Greg (North) Zerkle directed a reading of my musical, The Glory Road in Los Angeles.

At the last minute, one of our actors had to drop out to take another role.  


Brent Schindele  said, “An actor I know is in town right now appearing in The Lion King at the Pantages.  Let’s see if he can do it.”

Brent Schindele

Brent contacted Eugene Ware-Hill, who came over from The Lion King and without rehearsal, performed at our reading.  He was magnificent.

                                                             Eugene Ware-Hill

Fast forward. Eugene is in Kinky Boots on Broadway. The Grand has a crush on a rock star, Brendon Urie  who sang a lead role in the show this summer. Her girlfriend was traveling to New York and would get to see the show.  The Grand couldn’t go. Heartbreak.

I asked Eugene if he could please get her an autograph. He did even more. He sent a Kinky Boots playbill with a personal note from Brendon addressed to the Grand. This treasure occupies the place of honor in her room.

              Playbill from Kinky Boots

I think about how these four degrees of gorgeous proved what our grammas used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

And wait  – one more.

The musician playing this ukulele version of Lullaby of Broadway is Colin Tribe. Colin lives in England where he teaches, arranges and performs.

                                           Edward and his grandpa, Colin Tribe

Colin’s YouTube channel is linked below.

Or reach him here:

colinrtribe@btinternet.com