Thursday, December 7, 2017

God’s Plan in My Gift of Singing: Part 2 - As I Got Older

Written by  Garth Horn

 And now the long-awaited continuation…

Phase Three

As I said last time, I was raised listening to Rock and Roll. My big brother was a record collector and had 45 records and 33 albums with a mono speaker record player.

When I was 14 years old, my cousin Doug began to play electric guitar and formed a rock and roll band. He encouraged me to buy an electric guitar. Without hesitation, I began saving my money for this musical purchase. Living on a farm 40 km. out of town, Mom bought many things from the Sears catalogue. That is where I bought my first musical instrument. It was a combo Silvertone electric guitar and amp for one hundred dollars. Back in 1968, that was a big purchase for me. The first song I learned to play and sing was “Massachusetts” by the Bee Gees.

At age 15, I was asked by my parish Priest to play my electric guitar and sing at the church on a Sunday. I hesitated you say “yes” because of the limited number of guitar chords I knew and because I was not at all familiar with church music.

After listening to 3 songs by the Medical Mission Sisters - “It’s a Long Road to Freedom”, “Spirit of God” and “God gives His People Strength” - I said yes and played several times at Sunday’s “Folk Mass”. Two other teenage girls joined me - Connie playing organ and Pat singing with me. Little did I know that this was my prelude to Music at Church in years to come.


Phase Four

At age 16, I formed a rock and roll band with two friends from high school who played bass guitar and lead guitar. My older brother joined us as our drummer. I upgraded and bought a better electric guitar and amp. We were called “Magnolia” and we played for a few dances in and around my hometown. I was “a smiling performer”. We rented the hall and charged one dollar at the door - enough to pay for the hall rental.

Immediately after graduating from high school, my first full time job was at the Beaver Lumber Company. I enjoyed learning from the manager the duties of serving customers, filling out orders, doing the monthly income/expense statement and learning about the retail of lumber, plywood, paint, cement, shingles etc. etc.

My getting together with the band to jam became an increasingly occasional occurrence. My older brother (our drummer) moved out of town, got married and started having children, so Magnolia only jammed every now and again on a weekend at his place, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from my hometown. His wife was very patient listening to us play rock and roll music in the living room and we eventually moved our jam session into the garage where there was lots of echo.

Later on, Magnolia was invited to play for two of our friends’ wedding dances and one other time for a New Year’s Dance for $1000. That meant learning some new tunes. We bought matching dress shirts for the occasion. Wow! The highlight in our musical career. I enjoyed every minute. I was indeed “a smiling performer”.

Stay tuned for the next installment, coming in the New Year!




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