Singers know singers when they hear them. Singers envy singers who 'out sing' them, too. I sang pretty good in my day, but there is no 'record' of my songs. Oh, I made a recording of favorite hymns once, intended to be the first of a set of three albums. "Never Alone" was recorded in 1969 at Austin Custom Records in Austin, Texas. I was there for a Texas Music Educators convention, staying with my good friend, Bill Arhos. Bill's wife, Sylvia, was a very talented musician, herself. We decided to make an album over dinner and she agreed to accompany. I called the recording company and we did the recording the next day. The engineer had blocked two-and-a-half hours. We did fourteen tracks in less than an hour. "Never Alone" was supposed to sell for $5.00, proceeds going to Professor Arthur Smith's 'Bible Chair' at Texas A&M. It languished. (I gave many away and still have one or two). Needless to say, the other two albums were never made. They were to be songs from musical theater, "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "For You Alone"(one of my favorite songs I was asked to sing at weddings). That, and a trip to Australia, will never be crossed off my bucket list. Now, back to my reason for sharing this blog. Of all the good singers that made up the play list of my radio days, four stand out. Sonny James, Sara Brightman, Johnny Hartman(so appreciated by Clint Eastwood, his voice made up the background in "The Bridges of Madison County") and Matt Munro. They were each "Heart-singers". They used God's gift of song, as a personal gift to others..no strings attached. You probably wonder, since most of my songs were given away in church, why would I not include singers of worship in my list. Well, I could never tell the difference between singing for the Lord and singing for personal gain. I'll leave that decision up to the ONE who gave them their gift in the first place. I will say that Cynthia Clawson, Bill Gaither, Jan Prince and George Beverly Shea, Sue Poss, Alice Gene and Doy Butler, Ed Carson, Marcia Mallard and Kelly Denny, probably brought a smile to God's face, also. It is my belief that the greatest gift a person can give another is precious song from the heart. If you ever hear a singer that thrilled you with a gift, please do not fail to thank them for being faithful to the one who gave them the voice to do so, for to God be the Glory! And that's what I get from My box of chocolates right here in corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.
James G Austin '69