george at one hundred

I grew up with an LP (that is a big black disc from which music used to emerge, for those of you who are confused) in the house. It was called Sacred Songs. Actually I was convinced that it said Scared Songs on the cover and it became a bit of a family joke.

Sacred Songs included a collection of hymns sung by George Beverly Shea who is synonymous with the Billy Graham Crusades. 'George Bev' was a voice that filled our home. The words of his hymns grafted into my spirituality. I am blessed.

Well ... yesterday George Beverly Shea had his 100th birthday. Amazing!

As my tribute to the influence of his music on my life I've located a couple of youtube clips of my two favourite GBS hymns. Unfortunately I could not find GBS singing them. But don't be scared! They are just 2-3min each. Take time to listen to the simple spirituality in the unadorned words and make them the foundation of your life.

First up Cliff Richard singing "It is no secret what God can do"...

And then a Rebecca Henricks singing "I'd rather have Jesus"...

nice chatting



Ben Carswell said…
Glad to see someone else appreciates GBS! He's not the "coolest" singer to be a fan of, but he had a significant effect on me too. As a child, having heard him in the various Mission England stadia, I wrote to him talking about how dad was an evangelist & doing similar work to him & BG. I'll never forget the delight of receiving a hand-written letter back from him, telling me how his dad was an evangelist too & which he signed off "your friend, George Beverly Shea". I still have it back in the UK & it's a treasured item. There's definitely something in having an evangelist & singer (Moody & Sankey, Billy Graham & GBS), where could I get one from?!

Those 2 songs are among my favourites too - "It is no secret" has such great & simple words.

Great to see you & hear your thoughts last week. As you would say, "nice chatting".
Paul said…
That is a great GBS story, Ben. One day you will have to show me that letter. And I'll start praying for a singer to assist you ... just wish I could be of assistance :)

At my farewell at Baptist Assembly last year I asked the National Leader, Rodney Macann (himself an opera singer) to close the evening with 'It is No Secret'. I'll always remember the way everyone jumped-in with the chorus. Such simple - almost cleansing - words.

And the way 'I'd rather have Jesus' so starkly makes the choice between Jesus on the one hand and money and fame and power on the other. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Someone like Brooke Fraser really needs to re-release these songs in all their simplicity and get them onto the lips of those much younger than you and I, Ben.

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