Blessed by Young and Old Friends
Bill Gaither sings a song that resonates with so many of us: “Old friends, after all of these years, just old friends; through the laughter and tears, old friends…” and I thank God for blessing my LIFE with both old and young friends.
Recently, Howard and I were guests of Russell Allen and the Dignity Gospel Quartet at the Houston Gospel Song-fest and we LOVED hearing Gospel music sung by dynamic young artists, plus some of our LEGENDARY longtime friends. Emotions were at a high level as Roger, Debra, and Lauren Talley met us backstage. My mind went back to those early years in Nashville when I was hosting a daily TV show and was thrilled to have the Talleys as guests on the program. They were already well known and loved in Gospel music. The interview with Roger and Debra was easy and smooth as we talked about our passion for singing about Jesus. Lauren was just a kid, and she was adorable with her comments. She captivated our TV audience! I reminded Lauren of that long-ago event as she, Debra, and Roger left to go onstage for the concert.
Joining the Talleys for the Songfest was the fabulous male group Tribute Quartet. Gary Casto, manager and lead vocalist, is also a dear longtime friend. Josh Singletary, baritone and keyboardist, laughed as we remembered teasing each other about our red hair many years ago. Riley Harrison Clark, tenor, and Anthony Davis, bass vocalist, are two of the finest young artists gracing gospel platforms today. The concert was a lively blend of talents featuring the Talleys and Tribute.
We loved every minute of it, including hearing our host Dignity Gospel Quartet with their new lead vocalist Josh Flynn. Josh is excellent and works well with Russell Allen, Clint Hebert, and Wally Shuttlesworth. Howard and I thank Russell and the group for treating us to this wonderful concert. A couple from our church, West University Baptist, Paul and Willene Gutenberger, drove us and joined us on the front row. They said it was the best Gospel concert they had attended.
I thank God for my LIFE in gospel music, and the LOVE of our precious LEGENDS of gospel music. My heart overflows with gratitude for the multitude of young friends who are dedicated to the spreading of the gospel and the privilege of “shining a light for Jesus,” Matthew 5:16.
By Lou Wills Hildreth firstname.lastname@example.org
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