For Miss Buck, on Her Birthday


New nostalgic music blog by Ruddy Adam.

From age 8 to about 12, Miss Buck and I used to take off on Sundays to find some “church singing,” and hoped to find a singer or choir that could sing two notes at once.

We fell in love with going to the old black Churches, because to blacks back in those days going to church was a time to dress to the nines, celebrate, and have a load of fun. We laughed more than anything else listening to those preachers and watching the congregation get involved. I must say, however, a lot of the time the music was very good. The passion of the singers, and often they would have an organ and a piano, along with other instruments—and having anything other than an organ or a piano (only one or the other, now mind you) in white churches was anathema! Crazy? Hell yes, but Khristianity had adopted some of the nuttiest rules you can imagine by that time.

Besides having fun at the black churches, you could go to some of the white ones and easily get the high hat, plus having to sit there for an hour or so suffering through some man yelling at you for being a dirty sinner. Then came the “collection plate!” And only a couple of songs. The blacks would sing for hours, dancing and jumping in the isles, clapping and praising the Lord, in their special way.

Miss Buck loved these old black church songs, or, as she called them, “Negro spirituals,” and the first one was her favorite. It’s my favorite, too, though this recording is much smoother than what we used to hear. And that’s the way we liked it: Live, rough, and raw!

For her on what would be her 106th birthday.

“Lord, Ease My Troubling Mind,” Spirit of Memphis Quartet (2:30)

These are two others she liked. Not quite as good as the one above, but “Our Father” shows how they could get going, and the next one has an interesting message. Both show a mite of the passion that they sang with, which always increases the joy of the music.

“Our Father,” Five Blind Boys of Mississippi (2:50)

“I’m Gonna Leave You in the Hands of the Lord,” Five Blind Boys of Mississippi (2:45)

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