Music has been a major part of my life. I think back on the good times, and memories, that I've been fortunate to have playing, and performing, all kinds of music. I think of the tough times, and music was there too.
Two groups I enjoyed being a part of:
The Blues Brothers - The old time rock and roll band we had for eight years back in Manning, IA. It started as a spoof for a community show, then got going and more busy. We had great times, I think we did some music that was musically sound, and put on good show. Always fun to perform, and have some lifetime friends and memories from the many hours spent together.
The Messengers Quartet - Still plugging along with our once a year reunion tour (one hour concert) every March. A great group of friends. We get together to practice a little, eat a lot, and still seem to get our sound right, and enjoy singing the "old" quartet songs that have such nice harmonies, with beautiful meanings.
The last few years most of the music I do is contemporary worship music at churches or other events. It's probably the one hobby that I spend the most time at. I love playing, discovering new music, applying it to every day life, and then being able to share it. Even when I'm not leading, just being able to play gives me great joy and helps to calm, and lift up, my spirit.
My earliest memories of music are from my dad's quartet, The Jubilaires. I remember the good times they had together when I was around their group, just listening to them laugh, and that probably helped to embed, in me, a passion and love for music, and all of the memories that can be made with it. They made wonderful music together too, and still do, as they did just a week ago in a reunion at their Alma mater, Nebraska Christian College. A video of that performance is posted below. Even in that clip, you can hear them having fun and laughing. 50 plus years of singing together. That's fantastic. They can still bring it too. In fact, if you listen to the third song on the video clip, "Who Am I", you'll hear a 76 year old Don Gordon really bring it. Beautiful Dad.
I mentioned earlier how I recall the music being powerful during some tough times too. It's been right at nine years since my mom suddenly died. On the day of her funeral we were all gathered at my sister's house. The quartet was all at the house......that says something about the lifetime bond they share too. Larry Cripe, the quartet's piano player slipped to the piano and started to play. Before long, the entire quartet came around the piano without prompting, and began to sing. It was beautiful, and helped all of us feel a little bit better on a very tough day.
So today, I'm really grateful that my parents shared their love of music with me. They showed me what meaningful relationships can be developed through sharing that love of music with other people. I learned that music speaks to the heart and soul, and that if you do it with an honest, and open, heart and soul it can touch, and help other people too. Thanks to the Jubilaires for letting God use you, thanks Dad for a great example, and through that legacy, I hope I've helped others through my music too. But, the most important thing I've learned is that we do it for God's glory, not for ours.