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Country music column neglected to mention ‘the preacher from the Church of Christ’

I forgot all about “the preacher from the Church of Christ.”
In my recent Inside Story column on country music, I mentioned the 2002 Montgomery Gentry hit “My Town,” which references the “Sunday morning service at the Church of Christ.”
But Bob West, a member of the Ellisville Church of Christ in Missouri, e-mailed to remind me that Collin Raye’s 1994 hit “Little Rock” includes these lyrics:

I haven’t had a drink in 19 days
My eyes are clear and bright without that haze
I like the preacher from the Church of Christ
Sorry that I cried when I talked to you last night

The column struck a chord with a number of country-loving church members who have e-mailed me.
Lyn Rudel, retired administrative assistant for the West Houston Church of Christ in Texas, wrote:

Hey Bobby…I got so tickled reading your column about country music.  I don’t drive a truck (my husband has 2) and I don’t drink beer and only wish I got the chance to dance in the neon lights.  BUT when I was working in the “real” world before I worked 8 yrs at West Houston and then retired 4 yrs ago, I found country music was a really great way to work morality and religious ideas into conversations at work.
I would toss out a line or 2 from a country song once in a while and a quote from the bible another time.  They never knew which was coming and seemed to appreciate the irony that they could be equally challenging and thought provoking.  And a there were a few poor, sad souls who never knew which was which!!!

Minister Clyde Slimp and his son, Andrew, played a gig at a Mustang, Okla.,nursing home. Andrew gave a piano recital, while father sang country classics.

Meanwhile, speaking of “the preacher from the Church of Christ” …
My friend Clyde Slimp, minister for the Lakehoma Church of Christ in Mustang, Okla., writes country songs and sings and plays the guitar at occasional gigs.
“I do not consider myself a musician,” Clyde told me. “I’m a strummer, not a picker. But I like to sing and play the guitar as a way to connect with others while doing something I enjoy.”
(For the record, I can’t carry a tune or play a guitar.)
Clyde e-mailed me with this reaction to the column:

Hey Bobby! Man, that article was the best yet. I’m a lifer country fan. I have every song Hank (Sr.) ever recorded on CD, have some oldies and love some new ones too.
I played and sang Three Wooden Crosses at my cousin Eugene’s funeral a few years ago. He was 37. It was one of his favorite songs. On a lighter note, I’ve sung George Jones at many a gig (mostly nursing homes). 🙂
So, here are a few of my faves that relate to faith (and Amen to what you put on your list):
Lost Highway (message: Repent!)
Chain of Love (Clay Walker)
Long Sermon (Brad P.)
Why Me Lord (Kris or Elvis, both great)
A Lucky Man (count your many blessings!)
Home (Joe Diffie, talking about the straight and narrow pathway)
Lone Hard Road (NGDB – Mama kept the Bible read)
The Hand Song (Nickel Creek)
A Living Prayer (Alison Krauss…and every other song she’s ever sung)
So, so many good ‘uns. Thanks again!

Thanks to Clyde and everyone else who took the time to e-mail me!

  • Feedback
    I think you mean “Country” Music Column…
    November, 8 2012

    Indeed! “County” has now become “country” as it was supposed to be. 🙂 Thanks.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    November, 8 2012

    But I like County Music too. Especially Carroll County!
    Jerry Cary
    November, 8 2012

    Indeed! Who can forget timeless county music favorites such as:
    “I’ll love you as long as a zoning and planning board meeting”
    “My love for your violates all logic, just like my truck violates the oversize and unattended vehicle ordinance”
    “You’d light my heart on fire if it weren’t for the county-wide burn ban”
    Erik Tryggestad
    November, 8 2012

    Long Black Train – Josh Turner
    November, 9 2012

    It is hard to figure out what the article initially said, but the lyrics in the song Little Rock mentions that the man who had turned to alcohol got help from a “preacher of the Church of Christ”. The last that I heard about Colin Ray who grew up in a C of C family and divorced from his first wife, he had remarried a Catholic woman. As the country music promoters turned toward younger stars and got less radio play and attention, Ray turned to other markets to continue his musical career.
    Alan Miller
    November, 10 2012

    All you need to do to read the initial article is click the link: https://christianchronicle.org/article2159810~Modern-day_parables%3A_This_is_country_music
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    November, 10 2012

    I would like to back up the note from Alan Miller
    David Bruce C ofC P O Box 1293 Tupelo,Ms 38802
    November, 13 2012

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