The NQC – The Grand-daddy of them all!
I was a teenager and had started singing with a regional group. I had been to a few concerts at the Lake Norman Music Hall to see the big names of gospel music. But that year, 1979, as “Convention time “ came around the word came down that we were going to the NQC in Nashville, Tennessee. I was told of the singing, the groups, the booths around the main level of the Municipal Auditorium and how much fun it would be.
October came and there I was in Nashville at the NQC. The first night I heard the Blackwood Brothers, Kingsmen and Cathedrals and about a dozen more groups. I sat enthralled at every singer on stage. I remember walking the circle and meeting the artists and the fans. They were everywhere! I spoke with Eldridge Fox, George Younce, The Speers and got to meet so many artists that I had grown up with. I was in heaven.
We went to the Auditorium early, to walk around Nashville. Then at the auditorium I met NQC volunteer worker Jim Sheets, who became a dear friend. We walked the circle and talked to the groups
getting ready for the night. Walked around the auditorium looking at buses and talking to other fans doing the same thing. Then we talked with DJs from around America. Yes I was truly in heaven.
In Nashville we ate at Hap-Towns Diner, Elliston Place Soda Fountain, went to Opryland, the Grand Ol’ Opry, Printers’ Alley and had a picnic in Centennial Park. We went down Music Row, saw the historic studios, met JD Sumner at the Stamps Building, talked to Ben Speer in the Speer Recording Studio, went to the Country Music tourist sights and just saw it all! Yes I was in Gospel music
I will never forget those memories and the people! The smells, the excitement and most of all the music!
Submitted by Charlie Griffin
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