Untotaled: Stepping Four (April 28th, 1964) … March 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

The Gospel Tones.

They were a singing group that visited our church on April 28th, 1964–actually, three friends of our pastor, who used to sing together back in college.

The southern gospel quartet–bass, baritone, lead, high tenor–an interesting blending of a musical circus atmosphere mingled with the sanctity and sobriety of the Gregorian chant.

I remember that night well. I had never seen our preacher so alive. He usually had a somberness which accompanied his sermons, granting him the authority to be holy.

But on that night he was moving around and singing low bass notes on the RCA Victor microphone which had been placed in the middle of the platform.

I got excited. Honestly, it was a little corny, but still had enough fun in it that I participated.

After the show everybody processed to the fellowship hall for cookies and punch. I grabbed three of my friends and we headed off  to a Sunday School classroom which had an off-key Wurlitzer piano, and started pounding out some songs of our own. We didn’t sound very good but we were totally enthusiastic.

Right in the middle of an exhilarating screech, one of the church elders stuck his head in, rebuked us and said we were bad children because we weren’t joining in with the rest of the church. My friends were intimidated by the austere condemnation and left to go eat their cookies, but I stayed in the room. I played and played; I sang and sang.

That night changed me. I realized I liked music. I liked entertaining.

I regathered my three friends shortly after that evening and we began to sing everywhere–nursing homes, school talent shows, street rallies, coffee houses–and later, when my buddies paired off and got married, I kept it up.

In the process I worked with the Blackwood Brothers, the Rambos, the Happy Goodmans, the Imperials and the Oak Ridge Boys.

I became an egg. Whether I was scrambled, fried, poached or put in an omelet, I was an egg. You could use me to make a cake, a souffle, or even to hold your meatloaf together.

I was not a ham and certainly not a crab.

On April 28th, 1964, listening to the Gospel Tones, I chose to become an egg. Over the years many people have tried to get me to fit into their box, but I’m an egg.

I was built for a carton. 

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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Untotaled: Stepping 3 (February 9th, 1964) … February 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2158)

(Transcript)

“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah …”

God, I desperately needed that.

At twelve years of age, going through puberty, it would have been wonderful to have a “she” that loved me. Yeah.

But when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show February 9th, 1964,  my parents refused to let me watch. They didn’t know anything about the Beatles, they had just seen a picture, and from that had determined that the young gentlemen from Liverpool were freaks, queers, girls, Communists and immoral.

So instead, they sent me to church, where I got to listen to our preacher expound upon Peter and the lame man at the Gate Beautiful.

Lame.

I returned home, realizing that the Ed Sullivan Show was not over yet, hoping that I could still negotiate permission to watch the last part and hear the Beatles’ final selections. My father, even more irritated, refused. He turned the channel to Bonanza–an episode called The Cheating Game.

Yes, I felt cheated.

Even though I liked the Ponderosa, I did not want the Cartwrights on this night. I needed the Beatles.

Yet the next day, when I went to school, out of some sense of fierce loyalty, I explained to my friends, who were ablaze with excitement over the performance by Paul, John, Ringo and George, that these guys were freaks, queers, girls, Communists and immoral. (Honestly, I didn’t even know what most of the words meant.)

What happened next was chilling to my bone. Rather than arguing with me, my friends looked at me with a combination of horror and pity. They couldn’t even imagine how miserable I must be … Beatle-less.

So over the next few months I broke out of my shell, slipped over to my friend’s house and listened to the Beatles. This eventually led me to Herman’s Hermits, the Monkees, and even a little taste of the Animals and Jimi Hendrix. To that revolving play list I added the Oak Ridge Boys, Beethoven, Strauss and Sousa.

As the diversity of my musical taste increased, so did my openness and willingness to accept others and absorb new ideas.

Music saved my young soul from turning into a lame man, which certainly would not have been the gate to anything beautiful.

I never got to hear the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. But on the long and winding road … they rocked my world.

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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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