Just some thoughts:
“HE MADE ME CRY”
Vince Gill, well Vince Gill is not just one of my favorite artist, he happens to be one of my favorite people.
I would not mislead you, Vince and I are not the best of buddies,etc. Although on more than one occasion I have been on the receiving end of Vince’s thoughtfulness and kindness. Vince has shared some special things with me and has done some personal things for me that I will never forget.
Now the crying bit. With this virus stuff the Grand Ole Opry show for the past two weeks has changed their format. The past two weeks there has been no audience at the Opry house.The show has consisted of Vince and this past Saturday night his wife Amy and two daughters Ginny and Corinna. Just the four of them on stage.
Often I am not able to listen to the show live so I tape the show. That I did this past week. This morning, as my usual routine, I headed to my coffee place to get my bagel and coffee, get it and go. It was early and as I drove there was almost no sign of life. I think I saw one car as I drove. It was eerie, not seeing any life. Took me back to the night I sat in the balcony of the Indiana theater and saw the movie, “On The Beach.”
I got my coffee/ bagel and then sat in the car and listened to the show I had taped. “When Ever You Come Around” is one of my favorite songs that Vince wrote and recorded. It is a song written about how he felt when he first met his now wife, Amy Grant. I sat with my coffee and listened as he sang that song. I have my own thoughts over the lyrics of that song.
Near the end of the show he said,”I wanna do a song I think is the first song I ever heard. I was a little boy and my grandma used to sit at the piano and sing this song.” With that he and his family sang the old gospel song, “How Great Thou Art.” Whew. I remembered the first time I every heard that song, I was a teenager sitting with my best friend Mike in a church in Nashville.
As I started my car and prepared to head home he said “Let’s do one more song, let’s do this old country standard.” So they closed their show with the old Jimmie Davis song, “You Are My Sunshine.” (Interesting this song was recorded eighty years ago this very week, recorded in 1940 in Dallas,Texas by Davis.)
That song, “You Are My Sunshine” has special meaning for me and my family. The first family gathering I attended when dating my wife (1964) was a Sunday afternoon affair (all day singing dinner on the grounds) at a park in Effingham, Illinois. That day they closed and I learned they closed all their gatherings with everyone standing and singing that song. From the youngest to the oldest, sang. From there, there was never a family gathering I attended of her aunts, uncles, cousins etc that song was not sung.
A few years back when my wife’s ninety-four year old mother died I along with her grandchildren, we did her funeral. I did her eulogy and closed the gathering on that day. I did so by asking the audience, “Will you stand with me and let’s all together sing………… “You Are My Sunshine.”
As I pulled from my coffee place parking lot this is the song that Vince and his family chose to close their show. You put “How Great Thou Art and “You Are My Sunshine” back to back…..well that’s when I pulled into a vacant parking lot…. “Vince you made me cry.”
March 31, 2020