Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Opinion

September 10, 2011

Bob Bowman’s East Texas

Pure gospel

JACKSONVILLE — Pure gospel

Throughout East Texas are hundreds of gospel music venues where people gather on weekends to hear songs that you’ll hear only in churches.

In recent weeks, Doris and I have sat in pews in places like Lala Hill in southern Angelina County, Chireno in Nacogdoches County, Shelbyville in Shelby County, Athens in Henderson County and other places where the old gospel songs are still cherished with the same appreciation as a good apple pie.

In most of the venues, the sole musical instrument is a piano, but guitars,

fiddles, banjos and a few saxophones are showing up with increasingly frequency, likely because gospel music is attracting new converts like young people..

It’s a welcome trend, too. The gospel songs are getting better.

In the older and traditional country churches, the gospel songs come from the songbooks you’ll find in each pew. Here are a few of the most popular gospel renditions:

• Where could I go but to the Lord.

• Bringing in the Sheaves.

• Revive us again.

• On Higher Ground.

• Heavenly Sunlight.

• Love Lifted Me

• Onward Christian Soldiers.

• Standing on the Promises.

• When the Saints Go Marching In.

• I’ll Fly Away

• I Love to Tell the Story.

There is little formality at a gospel singing. Men show up in overalls and blue jeans, kids come in their play clothes, and women arrive in simple house dresses.

But they all have one thing in common: they love to sing.

At Lala Hill, one of the younger musicians said a teacher offered to give him voice lessions, but he added: “I wanted to hunt coons instead.”

I keep hoping that someone will put together a directory of gospel singings in East Texas so that gospel-lovers will know when and were the singings take place.

Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas history and folklore. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Hoisting flags and honoring family

    While searching our syndicated columns to fill this space, I realized ... it's probably time for me to say a few things.
    A lot has been happening lately, professionally and personally.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local reviews ‘Tomato Republic’

    On April 9, I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing the world premiere of The Tomato Republic, a documentary movie about the 2013 Jacksonville, Texas, mayoral election. The film was entered in the Dallas Film Festival within the Texas subjects division.

    April 15, 2014

  • Don’t do it yourself

    After years of fooling with just about every do-it-yourself project imaginable, I finally came to a startling conclusion. Just about everything I can do for myself, or think I can, somebody else can do for me faster and better and cheaper as well. Starting at an early age, I tried to learn every known skill in order to become independent. The heartache and frustration resulting from such a stubborn urge knew no bounds.

    April 5, 2014

  • When push comes to Shuve

    Ever been to Shuve, Louisiana? Don’t feel like you’re by yourself. Lots of folks have never even heard of it, much less been there.

    March 1, 2014

  • The spice of life: Some seasonings have benefits

    In the 15th century, Europe was in search of the spice of life.  For them, salt was not enough.  They also wanted cinnamon, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  It was for spices that the Portuguese sailed around the southern tip of Africa to reach India.  During this time a pound of Ginger was equal in value to one live sheep.

    February 26, 2014

  • President’s Day celebrates leader who built country’s foundation

    This month we celebrate President's Day. George Washington, who is also known as the "Father of our Country,” is one that I admire the most.

    February 7, 2014

  • CVS tobacco decision gives hope

    Just as I was starting to think money ruled the world and everything in it, a national giant makes a move that will cost them $2 billion in annual revenue.

    February 6, 2014

  • The bra: Friend or foe?

    This is a nod to Women Inventors Month; not the best-known observance on the calendar, but worthy of recognition nevertheless.

    February 1, 2014

  • Chocolate and chilies contain vast health benefits

    February is a good month to talk about chocolate.  For most of us, chocolate means dessert, but it can also be an ingredient in savory dishes.  For example the flavorful mole sauce from the Mexican tradition is a different way to work in some healthy dark
    chocolate.

    January 29, 2014

  • Hard work and shining light on dark corners

    Newsrooms of today may not be like the image you have in your mind.
    There are no smoke-filled rooms with fast-talking reporters and editors hovered over desks arguing over the best angle to take on a breaking story.

    January 24, 2014

LOCAL MAGAZINE
Election 2012
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide