April 1, 2014

Mark Millican: There’s nothin’ like a good singin’

It wasn’t one of those bucket list things-to-do, because you understand of course, I’m far too young to be making such a checklist. But it was another one of those events I’ve always wanted to take in.

Perhaps a disclaimer is necessary here: Your humble scribe has never had, and never will have, a melodic singing voice, at least this side of heaven. So when Teresa — who could have sung opera with the right training — and I attended the Quarterly Singing Convention at Smyrna Baptist Church in Ramhurst Saturday night, I mostly just listened.

But “marveled” might be a better word. As the men and women and boys and girls who filled the church took turns singing the upper and lower parts of the gospel standards, I was struck by how tight and robust and joyously the voices rang out. It took me back in years to when the Gospel Singing Jubilee and Mull Singing Convention aired on Chattanooga TV. I’m dating myself here, but who could forget The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Happy Goodmans and The Florida Boys, among others?

We also experienced what I believe was the sweetest version ever performed of “Amazing Grace” by a skilled pianist and young man on the fiddle. And there were some obligatory and good-hearted remarks from the Baptists and Methodists in attendance about each other’s denominations.

The convention in Ramhurst actually capped off a good week of singings for my beloved and me. We had attended a “Date Night” sponsored by Family Frameworks — a marriage enhancement ministry — in Dalton at Studio 123 owned by Rock Bridge Community Church a week before. It featured Michael O’Brien, formerly of the group Newsong.

Some Ellijay residents will remember Newsong well. They played there often in the mid- to late-1980s at the Moving the Mountains Youth Rally held at the Gilmer High football stadium. This was before they hit the Contemporary Christian scene big time and lost their quartet appeal, in my humble opinion. As we listened raptly to this innovative pianist and songwriter, I also thought back to other Mountain acts like The Mid-South Boys with their distinctive country-gospel sound, and keyboardist Jerome Olds from May-retta, er, Marietta.

The night after that we went to a sing-along at my Mom’s church, Trinity United Methodist. My old friend Dan Sluder, who has taught Sunday school for years at Holly Creek Baptist in Chatsworth, was there with his trio, and there were other singers and groups as well. The spirit was contagious there as it was at the other two venues.

Now that we’ve sat in with the Baptists and Methodists, we’re going to look for a Pentecostal sing-along. Yep, there’s nothin’ like a good singin’!

Text Only
  • Tax holiday weekend is perfect time to shop

    August means children across the state are headed back to school, and for parents that means it’s time to buy new shoes and clothes for children who have outgrown their old ones. It means it’s time to buy new school supplies, and it may even mean it’s time to get a child a new computer to do their school work.

    July 30, 2014

  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014