Reflections on Brother Ronnie Milsap, Church Music, and the South

My Number Two son, Piano Man, is a gifted pianist. He also plays the bass and the guitar, but the piano is his true gift. As it is with any talent, it chooses it’s form in which to present itself. Piano Man’s gift of music shows forth in the form of jazz and especially blues improv.  Piano Man plays once in awhile for Priesthood where he cannot help but throw a trill or a bluesy chord into the prelude. He did this once as a young teen, and a young adult member jumped up from the audience to admonish him on not playing reverently.

 It was amusing, as the member of the Bishopric in charge of conducting that week,  was out in the hall and heard the prelude, but not the shaming, opened the meeting with,  “We are thankful for Brother Piano Man who brought a little spirit and soul to Priesthood today.”  Incidentally both gentlemen are converts to the LDS church; the Bishopric member was a born and bred southerner. The other fellow? Well bless his heart, he’s just a Yankee. * 

Another time Piano Man was doing a sound check for a practice in the school auditorium. At the keyboard, Piano Man sat down and played some blues improv. One of the musical instructors, an African American gentleman, heard him playing; hollered in the spirit and tone of a preacher, “TAKE IT TO CHURCH!”

  Piano Man confused as to his terminology and stopped playing blues improv and changed to a reverent version of Come, Come, Ye Saints.

Where in the gentleman began yelling and moaning, “WHAT IS THAT?”

Piano Man stopped and said, “church music?”

 “NO! NO! Give me more soul!”  

So Piano Man began playing early rock n roll improv.

More head shaking, “NO! NO! Not white church, give me black church!”

 Piano Man started again with blues improv giving it more soul with minor seventh chords and “ripping it up” in the C Blues scale. 

  “THAT’S IT!  TAKE ME TO CHURCH!” This time the gentleman exclaimed with praise waving his hands in the air.

Essentially what I am getting at is; church music is individual in taste. What we might call church music; is not church music to someone else.

 Which now brings us to the how and why of Brother Ronnie Milsap .  Ronnie Milsap has just released a Gospel Album and was featured recently in The Tennessean.  The article tells the story of Ronnie as a young boy and his difficulty with faith, but his love of church music.

My faith has never dwindled,” he said. “Now, that doesn’t mean that I go to a certain church on Sundays, or that I believe any one religion has all the answers. I grew up Baptist, and I was a Mormon for a while. People laugh at Joseph Smith and say it‘s a fairy tale, but there’s a lot we just don’t know on this side. I do believe that there is another dimension somewhere. I have hear that there is a review of your life that goes on by when you pass on, where you see bunch of pictures of what your life has been. I wonder if mine will go by in audio form, like a tape rolling backwards.

 One reason Milsap’s flirtation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was fairly brief is that the Mormon music was neither familiar nor fulfilling to the Baptist raised performer… ‘Milsap’s faith runs deep on new album’ by Peter Cooper The Tennessean April 29, 2009

I have seen some changes in the LDS Church during my lifetime, and one more change I hope to see; is the addition of Amazing Grace** to our hymnbook. Don’t get me wrong, I love our LDS hymns. I would just like to hear more variety.

 I have nothing but praise for born and bred southerners who join the LDS Church. There is indeed a true sacrifice in giving up your church culture and especially the hymns of the southern church, for hymns that call to mind Protestant Yankee New England.   The Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives us great knowledge, which is a tremendous comfort I assure you; but before I die can we please give the music a little soul, please?!



* In the South it is quite alright to insult someone cross-eyed and twice backwards on Sunday, if you preclude the insult with a bless his/her heart

** I am quite aware that Amazing Grace was written by a an Abolitionist English man (even more the reason it should be in our hymn book), but the melody was inspired by enslaved Africans. Amazing Grace in spirit is  southern.



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About JA Benson

Joanna entered the world as a BYU baby. Continuing family tradition, she graduated BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for several years. Growing up in Salt Lake County, her favorite childhood hobbies were visiting cemeteries and eavesdropping on adult conversations. Her ancestral DNA is multi-ethnic and she is Mormon pioneer stock on every familial line. Joanna resides in the Southeastern USA with her five children ranging in age from 8 to 24. Her husband passed away in 2009. She is an avid reader and a student of history. Her current intellectual obsession is Sephardic Jewish history, influence and genealogy. She served as a board member for her local chapter of Families with Children from China. She is the author of “DNA Mormons?” Summer Sunstone 2007 and “Becoming Hong Mei`s Mother” in the Winter Sunstone 2009

41 thoughts on “Reflections on Brother Ronnie Milsap, Church Music, and the South

  1. A man after my heart. Amen and thanks. It is beyond beleif we don’t have Amazing Grace in our hymn book given all the clunkers that could have been dumped in the last edition. But looking at the recent new Apostle picks, I’m not holding my breath for any major reform to the music program in my lifetime. 30+ years after the priesthood ban, where’s our gospel branch of MoTab? It’s just not going to happen soon enough.

  2. I can usually tell a Utahan playing the piano or organ at church. The Utahans just about always play slower than native midwesterners.

    Steve EM, I forget what song it was, when I heard the MoTabs sing something that was supposed to have some soul to it, they still sounded, well, God bless their hearts, like a bunch of white people.

  3. Yes Please! More variety in our worship music. God is Father of us all, and He said the song of the righteous is a prayer to him. So I figure He appreciates all our different songs.

  4. Amazing Grace was in one of the hymnbooks Emma Smith compiled.

    And Ronnie Millsap’s son Todd’s locker was next to mine in high school. My only brush with fame 🙂

  5. “Well bless his heart, he’s just a Y*n***.”

    That is the one thing I simply did not like about going to church in North Carolina – and I’m sure it’s rampant throughout the south. Why couldn’t that whole nonsense check itself at the door? Missionaries even perpetuated it. Since when should where you (or your parents) are born (particularly if it’s two or more inches north of where you are) disqualify you from full fellowship in the Church?

  6. Kristine :Amazing Grace was in one of the hymnbooks Emma Smith compiled.

    And yet another sign we’re in apostasy. Does any one know why BY was so against the concept of grace? He even added anti-grace stuff to the Temple liturgy (that thankfully has since been dumped).

    Bookslinger — Yeah, I agree. It would have to be a branch of the MoTab with enough converts well versed in gospel to train the choir in the genre.

  7. Hey thanks for stopping by ya’ll.
    Ray, lovely to see you again.
    Steve EM, rare form as usual.
    Bookslinger, nice to see you too. Funny, “they still sounded, well, God bless their hearts, like a bunch of white people.”
    Amen Coffinberry, testify!
    Kristine, you must be a born and raised Tennessean, yes? BHS? Thank you for the Emma Smith and Amazing Grace info. I had never heard about that. I learned something new today. I believe I have had the pleasure of meeting your mother in the Family History LIbrary.

    John Taber, We are just having a little fun. Actually I have lived in the South almost my entire adult life and have never heard anyone discriminated against at church because they were a Yankee. I am usually mistaken for a native Southerner. I have heard Native Intermountain Westerners say a few offensive things to/about Southerners. I am sorry you had a bad experience in North Carolina.

    My missionary son in Texas is especially well loved because not only is he a southern boy, but a Native Texan as well. Now that, is something to be proud of. 🙂

  8. Six or seven years back in Southern California we had a Stake Music Chair with a bit of moxy who taught us (the stake choir) a really cool arrangement of Amazing Grace for Stake Conference.

    We sang it right before the visiting general authority (whose name escapes me now) was to speak. He stood up, walked to the podium, and asked us to sing it again. We did, with big silly grins on our faces.

    I have hope that it’ll make the cut next time. 🙂

  9. FWIW, and IIRC, when President Packer came to our stake about a decade ago for an emergency installation of a new stake president (the former one had been killed in a car accident), President Packer mentioned that it was an oversight in the hymnal to leave out Amazing Grace, and that it would be in it, the next time one is prepared. Let’s see, the little blue one was put out in 1948, so it was 37 years before the current green one was published (timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of original publication of the first hymnbook compiled by Emma). It’s been 29 years now since the green one; economics and translation issues tell me it will probably be another 21 years at least before a new one comes out.

    That gives us just enough time.

    I invite all musical- and lyric-minded persons to adapt old/create new LDS music that gathers from the tones and styles outside the standard Western tradition. Encourage our new converts around the world to make new music. Sing it. Record it. Send it to the Church Music Submission program. Let’s be the change we wish to see.

  10. JAB – I don’t know about my rare form, but your post is great!

    Coffinberry — Are you sure? Isn’t it BKP that has frozen the music program in a time capsule? You know, keeping the MoTab from being a choir at conference (they just sign the melody), etc? In any case before the 1990 temple liturgy, there’s no way Amazing Grace would have made it into a LDS hymn book. This very blog is dominated by the BY old guard salvation by works crowd.

    Is there really a meaningful LDS music submission program or is it just a sewer vortex? I’m skeptical given the top down nature of our church and the fact there’s nothing stopping SLC from issuing a second expanded hymnal, rather than replacing the current one. I just get a head ache every time I hear members say how great our hymns are. Compared to many other churches, our music program just sucks big time.

  11. Steve, there is actually something that stops SLC from issuing a second expanded hymnal: the international church. There are still many parts of the world without LDS hymnals at all, and supplying that lack is a far higher priority for the Music Committee than giving English-speaking Saints another book when the one we have is at least adequate (by most opinions). Or so says my co-teacher in Sunday School, who is a member of the Church Music Committee, and so says Karen Lynn Davidson, who is publishing (any day now) a second edition of her Stories of the hymns, after confirming that no new English hymnal is anticipated for many years.

  12. “My missionary son in Texas is especially well loved because not only is he a southern boy, but a Native Texan as well. Now that, is something to be proud of.”

    Exactly – he belongs there. Someone like me (born in New York, but in this case Oklahoma or Kansas would be “too far north”) never would.

  13. Ardis, I wish the people who complain about the Church not doing exactly what they would like it to do would stop and think that maybe their priorities are not necessarily in alignment with the Church’s needs. We are lucky to have Spanish and Portuguese hymnals, but there are plenty of languages that still need them.

  14. Taylor, thank you for stopping by. You have given me hope.

    Coffin-berry, it is nice to have someone around who is also mathematically challenged. Thanks also for giving us hope

    Steve EM, hush now. BKP is not the bogeyman. He is an Apostle, like all of us, is imperfect. Actually we do have great hymns. A few of my favorites are: The Spirit of God, Redeemer of Israel, Israel Israel God is Calling, Come Come Ye Saints, I Need Thee Every Hour, I Believe in Christ, Secret Prayer, Tis Sweet To Sing the matchless Love, I Stand All Amazed, If You Could Hie to Kolob, Oh My Father, Teach Me to Walk in the LIght, Love One Another, etc.. sorry for the headache 🙂

    Ardis Thank you for reminding us of the challenges of the International Gospel, As with any great work strength and weakness, yin and yang, etc is part of the plan.

    John Taber, Thank you for our “Coming to Jesus Meeting”* I shall strive now not to stereotype people.I apologize for offending you. The Mama in me comes out when someone insults my kid. Actually Elder Benson and all the other little Bensons are Utah Mormon Idaho in parentage. The real southerners would not consider my children southerners. We just do a good job of blending in.

    * call someone on the carpet or to repentance

  15. Thanks Geoff for reminding us. I do think that since Amazing Grace was inadvertently left out; perhaps someone could put a bug in someone else’s ear to slip Amazing Grace into any new Hymn books being printed. Then loosen up on singing I’ll Fly Away and The Old Rugged Cross. The Southern Saints would appreciate it. Then perhaps someone with a budding testimony of Joseph Smith like Brother Milsap would feel more at home.

  16. JAB — Whoa, I never said BKP was a boogeyman, just my understanding he won’t allow MoTab to be a choir at conference. So I’m skeptical if he is cited as a music reformer. Back to Amazing Grace, to add insult to the injury, there is one John Newton hymn in our book, and it’s a clunker and a half!

    AP – Thanks for the additional inside baseball. I can imagine it’s an incredible undertaking to put together a new hymn book in another tongue. But the USA church is shrinking, shrinking in part to a sucky music program. A simply answer is to loosen the correlation strings and encourage local units to do their own thing as far as improving the music.

    Then we could accommodate everyone. Where LDS population is sufficient, perhaps we could have overlapping wards that accommodate a variety of styles such as the LDS classic ward, the modern gospel ward, the neo LDS classic ward (this one would include masterpieces like Amazing Grace), the speaking in tongues tambourine ward, the dance praise ward, etc. If there was sufficient demand in some regions, you could even have the snake handling ward. The general restriction would be anything goes that isn’t specifically prohibited by scripture.

    Then in places with just one or two LDS wards in a town, you’d have more eclectic type wards. Perhaps certain Sundays would be set aside for the less LDS mainstream stuff so the less wild members could skip stuff they weren’t comfortable with.

  17. JA, not born and bred, but I did go to BHS. My parents and one brother still live in Brentwood/Bellevue.

  18. The new MoTab CD has some great renditions (in my opinion) of a few African American spirituals as well as other early American folk hymns. I have been toying with sending a copy to our ward music person and suggesting the choir sing Mack Wilberg’s version of Down to the River To Pray.

  19. Steve EM- No, you are right; it is just how your comment comes across. Music may be part of the slower retention rate, but our LDS music is not “sucky” just not varied enough. Gospel is just such a big part of worship here in the south. We might be missing the boat for some potential converts like Brother Milsap. LIke others have pointed out, we are international and it is hard to reach everyone.

    I like your idea about letting local Stakes have more control over local musical tastes, to a point. If now Stake Presidents have all power, in so many other areas, this would be a good area to give them all power. Then your thought process goes down hill from rational to wacky with snake handling. Your ideas are great when you are rational.

    Years ago, when you first appeared on the bloggernacle scene, I got such a big kick out of how you would yank everyone’s chain. I honestly thought you were some 17 year old kid playing a game. Well if you were some 17 year old kid you would have grown up by now, so I guess this is really you a middle aged guy who really really has these unusual opinions, or are you just some middle aged guy who likes to yank everyone’s chain?

    Thanks Kristine. You have a nice family.

    David H- go for it. I love Down at the River to Pray. Lovely hymn.

  20. JAB – If it helps, on Jerry Rhodes three thinking styles , blue (judging), red (analytical) and green (creative), I’m a hard green, followed by soft green followed by hard blue close behind my soft green.

    Almost anyone with my green dominate thinking profile would have been driven from the LDS long ago, as we greens question everything and tend to experiment. So I can see why you’d think I was some kid going through a phase, as that’s the age the greens begin to disappear from the church. To be fair, many endeavors built on conformity tend to drive out greens. It’s no accident I left the LDS. Just like it’s no accident I ended up earning a good living in corporate R&D. My return to the LDS after corrupting and marrying an active LDS gal may have been happenstance, although I tend to think there’s a higher power involved.

    I threw in the snake handling to illustrate how radical you can go and still not violate scriptural prohibitions, not that I personally have any desire to handle snakes at church. Obviously there are parts of the USA there’s demand for such worship, and I see no reason we LDS couldn’t accommodate it. But of course, being a green, I don’t dismiss such things out of hand the way a blue understandably would, and the LDS is dominated by blues, followed by reds and is most unwelcoming to greens.

  21. Steve EM is cracking me up. I haven’t been tested, but I’m thinking I’m pretty green too. The “speaking in tongues tambourine ward” was a masterful stroke of creative brillance and alliteration. I’d go there.

    Seriously, though, music speaks straight to one’s soul and the One Size Fits All mentality of our music program makes our music really drag for some people. I agree JA, that there are some beautiful hymns. There’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, but hey, would it hurt to add a few bubbles every now and then?!

    If some members long for zippier hymns, I imagine our international members long to sing their cultural hymns as well. I’m like the idea of localizing music at a Regional level. There doesn’t have to be a massive reprinting of everything either. Most churches have a cardstock-stapled supplemental of hymns in addition to their official hard-bound hymnal that suffices quite nicely. Maybe we could ease it in without too much trauma to the staid membership with this approach – “And now we will sing our rest hymn, Amazing Grace, found in your paper supplemental, page 1” (tambourines optional).

    I don’t think the church will run amuck if we loosen the chokehold on our music program, that is, unless Steve EM or I were to be given a big ol’ Green Light to go ahead with our plans for improvement. Mwa-ha-ha.

  22. Steve EM- The problem is that you have great ideas, but you sabotage yourself with letting those great ideas get wrapped up in the same package with the wacky ones. No one will take you seriously, because they forget you made a valid point before you went all wacky. Try this chant to yourself before you make a post, “I respect my opinions enough to not run amuck.”

    CiCi-This is why I like you so much. You are so practical and yet think so well out of the box. We really do not have to wait a couple of generations to pass before we can make gradual changes.

  23. DavidH, you will be very interested to hear that my family sang “Down to the River to Pray” for my nephew’s LDS baptism. We changed the lyrics to:

    “When I go down to the river to pray
    Studying about that good ol’ way
    Who shall wear the robe and crown
    Good Lord show us the way.
    Oh sisters, come on down, down to the river to pray.
    Oh brothers, come on down, down to the river to pray.
    Oh mothers, come on down, down to the river to pray.
    Oh fathers, come on down, down to the river to pray.”

    And then we ended with:

    “Oh, Christopher, come on down…and be baptized today.”

    My nephew Christopher’s baptism was a very spiritual day indeed. The Spirit was overwhelming. Makes me tear up just thinking about it.

  24. JAB – While I certainly appreciate the thought, please accept that I just can’t risk it. Beyond my dominant green thinking style that naturally holds back judging new ideas, my livelihood depends on not rejecting new ideas until they’re proved unfeasible experimentally. That’s not to say there isn’t a time to judge and weed things out but, as my employees know, then my motto switches to: In G-d we trust, all others bring data.

    I’m probably saying too much. On that note, to the few who have pegged my identity over these years in the Nacle, thank you for not outing me.

  25. Geoff B- Thank you for sharing. It was truly very lovely. What a lovely Baptism memory.

    Steve EM-tsk tsk tsk. I am trying to help you 🙂 Please remember to weed your garden of ideas. It will be a much more useful and beautiful garden for us all.

  26. On the Sunday morning of General Conference last month, the choir in Music and the Spoken Word sang “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.” If you saw Robert Duvall in “The Apostle” you’ll recognize the song.

    That’s a great old revival song, and would be a great addition to our repertoire. And, if the choir can sing it on a Sunday morning, can’t we sing it at church?

  27. In our stake in Arizona we combine with St. Anne’s the local Catholic church every Christmas for a combined choir that performs at the Temple. Last year the choir director from St. Anne’s threw in a little gospel soul number. It was a huge source of amusement to see a bunch of white folks try to find their groove. We eventually got into the spirit of things and did a passable job. I too would like to see a little more diversity in our music.

  28. Geoff B. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I am embarrassed to admit that I do not recall ever hearing the hymn until watching O Brother Where Are Thou?

  29. Penny H, Thanks for stopping by. Kudos to your choir for trying. Good for your Stake for reaching out to the community.
    David H. Thanks for stopping by. O Brother Where Art Thou is one of my favorite films. My only criticism is the southerners I have known, do not swear as much as the characters in O Brother Where Art Thou.

  30. JA Benson: “Actually we do have great hymns. A few of my favorites are: The Spirit of God, Redeemer of Israel, Israel Israel God is Calling, Come Come Ye Saints, I Need Thee Every Hour, I Believe in Christ, Secret Prayer, Tis Sweet To Sing the matchless Love, I Stand All Amazed, If You Could Hie to Kolob, Oh My Father, Teach Me to Walk in the LIght, Love One Another, etc..”

    Yes, we do have some great hymns, but a lot of those on your list are not written by Mormon authors and/or Mormon composers.

    “The Spirit of God”: Text LDS, Tune Anonymous (first published 1844)
    “Redeemer of Israel”: Text LDS, Tune non-LDS
    “Israel, Israel God is Calling”: Text LDS, tune (non-LDS) borrowed from “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”
    “Come, Come Ye Saints”: Text LDS, Tune English folk tune
    “I Need Thee Every Hour”: Text non-LDS, Tune non-LDS
    “I Believe in Christ”: Text LDS, Tune LDS (finally, both!)
    “Secret Prayer”: Text LDS, Tune LDS
    “‘Tis Sweet To Sing the Matchless Love”: Two separate musical settings; Text LDS, both Tunes LDS
    “I Stand All Amazed”: Text non-LDS, Tune non-LDS
    “If You Could Hie to Kolob”: Text LDS, Tune English folk tune adapted by Ralph Vaughan Williams (non-LDS)
    “Oh My Father”: Text LDS, Tune (non-LDS) adapted from “My Redeemer”
    “Teach Me to Walk in the Light”: Text LDS, Tune LDS (really a song, not a hymn)
    “Love One Another”: Text LDS, Tune LDS (song, not a hymn)

    Hymns I’d like to see in LDS Hymnal:
    “Amazing Grace”, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, “Jerusalem” (from “Chariots of Fire”), “Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel”, “What Child is This”, “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, “Thine is the Glory” (Easter), “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (sometimes called the Black National Anthem), “Let All Things Now Living”, and “This is My Father’s World”.

    Kristine: “Amazing Grace was in one of the hymnbooks Emma Smith compiled.”

    True. It was not in the 1835 Hymnal, but it appeared in Emma Smith’s 1841 Hymnal. That was the one and only time that “Amazing Grace” was in an LDS hymnal.

  31. Ok Hans. If you have time, give me your list of great LDS hymns. I am sure you can tell that I am musically challenged

    So I take off my list of favorite LDS hymns and put on my list of favorite hymns: “I Need Thee Every Hour” and “I Stand All Amazed”. The last two are in the green book titled Hymns. “If Scatter Sunshine” is a hymn, then “Love One Another” and “Teach Me To Walk in the LIght” are hymns too. 🙂

    I agree with the hymns you would like to see included.
    Thanks for stopping by and giving us your opinion.

  32. Regarding “Amazing Grace”, I figured out how to overlay it with “Because I Have Been Given Much”. I had to extend it to 4/4 time from 3/4 time, but it still sounds really cool. I’m the ward organist, so every once in a while I play that for prelude and it’s kind of fun..

  33. Michaela, I love creative organists with a musically adventurous streak. 😉

    Have many people in the ward noticed and commented on it?

    If you’re willing to share, I’d love to get the music for that one sometime. Have you posted it anywhere online, by chance?

  34. very interesting exchanges with good will toward all, refreshing me

  35. Nice work Joanna…great comments!

    It could be a piece of cake if our LDS music selections just rest with general authorities, but it’s just not that simple. The main stream LDS culture goes so deep and so wide, seated within every aspect of the church even down to the music that it would be “unthinkable” for most main stream anglo members to be in acceptance of deep, soulful, and mood altering kind of a music like “Amazing Grace.” First general authorities would have to take on the task of undoctrining the main stream white population of the LDS state site church. And that just ain’t easy. Just last year, I sat in a Relief Society classroom with a teacher who taught us a lesson and compared MTab music as great for the kids to listen to and great at bringing in the spirit at home, for Sunday prep, etc. but the gospel music which she compared it too was a no go and totally inappropriate for tapping into the spirit and for using at home, etc. in her mind. I was the only black sister in the classroom who disagreed because the gospel music she refered to was pefectly suitable in my mind for all the above. Incredible, but it doesn’t rest with just that one anglo sister from Utah. Culture, I’m afraid, is selling itself as doctrine and spirit has preferly taken a back seat to it.
    Jill Johnson

  36. Thanks Jill for stopping by and giving us a diverse opinion. I agree that Intermountain West culture has become the gospel for many members. At the risk of offending some of you, let me tell you as a multi generational Utah Mormon on every side, culturalism is a problem.

    Some of our particularities are the “foolish traditions of the fore fathers”. Foolish, in the sense of wrapping the gospel, in the smallness of the Western US Intermountain culture. Our foolishness limits the gospel in it’s potential to go to every nation kindred tongue and people. I have wondered if the gospel had been brought forth say in India. We would be trying with our western brains, to understand the gospel Asian Indian style. This is how it is for others. Until we become an international church and find a way to allow others to celebrate the goodness of the gospel in what feels comfortable to them, we are the ones who are limiting God’s ability to bring forth the gospel to the world. rant over.

    Thank you Marylee for yoru comment. The wonderful thing about M* is everyone is nice. We can disagree and still be friends.

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  38. Penny H, Thanks for stopping by. Kudos to your choir for trying. Good for your Stake for reaching out to the community.
    David H. Thanks for stopping by. O Brother Where Art Thou is one of my favorite films. My only criticism is the southerners I have known, do not swear as much as the characters in O Brother Where Art Thou.

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