I’ve often thought about words of a song,
the flow, the rhyme, the beat all wrong.

How can something so meaningless be played,
when a medium so popular has ability to convey.

You waste your gift, your chance to provide,
a guiding light to those who don’t thrive.

The young are needy for truth and for love,
and you give them such a distorted view of it all.

Write away at your wasted words,
hang them on music where they’ll fly like birds.

The sky’s the limit the producers will say,
trash up your words so the music will be played.

You had your chance, you’ll think one day,
about a time you wasted when you had something to say.

Geography’s Connection To Greatness.

Geography's Connection To Greatness

Geography Connects To Life. What role does geography have in our lives? Is there a connection with where we live and our life’s work? Does the place we live have any connection to the time we are living? Have you ever felt at home in a perfectly strange place? Do you yearn to live far away? Perhaps there is great purpose in one locale that doesn’t reside in another.

I believe ‘location’ has an almost Divine connection to life and its ultimate purpose upon the earth. Many men and women of great accomplishment state they were in the right ‘place’ at the right time. Strangely, the Jewish people felt compelled to move to Israel, even before the Holocaust. Spontaneous life and miraculous growth occurred in a few short years after being declared a State in 1948 – military, industrial, cultural, and economic growth occurred, almost cataclysmically. In Europe, massacred as a defenseless people, in Israel, a world power overnight. Names like Jobs and Gates may not be household names if the time and place of their lives had been different. The name J.P. Morgan may never be known beyond the boundaries of a small town had his pulse not been on the financial markets in New York City, where he grew up.

In all due respect, if Harry had been born to Steve Wynn in Vegas instead of Prince Charles in England it could have turned out a different!

The Georgia Coast.

The Georgia Coast

Only 113 miles makes up the last truly pristine southeastern coastline. From Savannah to St. Mary’s, life on the rural coast is selfishly enjoyed by those of us fortunate to live here. We watch spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic, sunsets over the back rivers of our islands…and we eat, oh boy do we eat…the most delicious seafood in the ocean – fish, shrimp, blue craps, and oysters. The ocean’s delicacies are always served fresh on our tables, and the joy of gathering our meal is tantamount to a mini-vacation.

I have been fortunate to travel the world, to scenic locations all over, always subconsciously comparing, and I’ve yet to find any place that measures to ‘my Georgia coast.

The Son of Slaves.

The Son of Slaves

He has been gone for many years now, but this old black man imparted much to me as a young white boy growing up on the Georgia Coast in the 1960s. His simple perspective, advice, and life has impacted me, albeit much later than sooner. His stories are deeply preserved in my memory, always finding ‘good’ in the depths of his poverty and difficulty. He taught me the issues of life, in truth, flow out of the heart, and his was pure as gold; never allowing circumstance or situation to rob him of bubbling joy and an eternally optimistic attitude. Elijah (Dan) Golphin changed my life. He wasn’t a scholar or learned man, he had few material possessions, held no high office or great influence in the community; but what he offered was the greatest treasure ever…how to be content, and even joyous in spite of difficulties that life is sure to bring. Why did it take me so long Dan? What a blessing you were, and still are; yet admittedly, only now can I appreciate what you really did for me. Thank you from the depths of my heart!

This old black man taught me much as a young white boy growing up on the Georgia Coast in the 60s. His simple perspective, advice, and life has had a life-long impact on me. His stories are deeply preserved in my memory, as always he saw good in the depths of his own poverty and difficulty. He taught me that ‘the heart’ is where the issues of life are formed, and his was pure as gold; never allowing circumstance or situation to rob him of his bubbling joy and eternally optimistic attitude.

The Evolution of a Musical Genre.

The Evolution of a Musical Genre

Clay Sikes

January 17th, 2012

I was strolling to class one day in 1969 or 70, at what is now Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. My route to class followed a sidewalk that skirted the gym and athletic fields. As I neared the gym, I heard music from within and remembered that some band was playing on campus that night, but not anyone I had ever heard of. There was nothing unusual about a band practicing in the gym, so nothing really caught my interest until I was close enough to clearly hear the music.

Having been raised in the rural south, the son of a long-time High Sheriff, I often found myself in black churches – funerals, weddings, political meetings, etc., From my earliest childhood, I was always moved by the old ‘spirituals’ I heard, the beautiful harmonies, and the power of songs sung from the heart. Secretly, this had become my favorite music, and I was ever so delighted when my dad brought home records by Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, and later, Little Richard and Ray Charles who sang with the same passion about life instead of the Lord. As a young teen, I never realized the influence this music had on me until I heard two powerful Georgia musicians – James Brown and Otis Redding. Something really hit me about this soulful sound, much more so than other very popular music coming out of England at the time.

What I heard in that Georgia Southern Gym stopped me dead in my tracks, as twin slide guitars were playing soulful, bluesy, harmony very similar to what I had heard in the churches. With scant minutes to spare before class, I decided to dart into the gym and listen a few minutes. What I heard from the instruments blew me away, but when the young blond boy (who looked to be about my age) began to sing, I knew I would either be tardy or absent – the song would decide! I was absent, and sat there watching and listening to a band I had never heard of play tune after tune that resonated deeply within my soul – simply the best music and musical style I had ever heard.

What I witnessed that incredible day was the genesis of a musical genre, birthed by musical genius as Gregg and Duane Allman gave rise to the Allman Brothers Band, and what many have called ‘Southern Rock.’ The influence this music had, and still continues to have, on many subsequent iterations of music is untold, as this unique style now has roots in many forms of music.

What started out to be just another day, turned into one of my most memorable as I witnessed a piece of musical history, and one that continues to affect the world today.