The Day I Almost Sang “The Old Rugged Cross”!!

I know…….scary thought, huh?!! You oughta been me! Don’t get me wrong now…..I do sing…..but never, ever where anyone can hear me! Well, maybe if you’re right next to me, or in front of me in church, you might get to hear me. But you’d have to really be listenin’! And I’ll have to admit, nobody does “The Tennessee Stud” quite like I do! Truth is, but she’ll never admit to it, it’s one of the reasons Julie married me in the first place!

Here’s how it went down; I’m in Canadian, Texas, not far from where I grew up, about to do a  funeral. The family is at the door ready to come down the aisle. A long-time friend and deacon in the church there comes over to me and says, “Now Andy, as soon as the family’s seated, you can step up to the mic and lead the congregation in “The Old Rugged Cross”. I know he’s kidding…so I say, “You’re kidding, right?!” He’s got a serious look on his face and says, “No, I’m not kidding”. I said, “You better be kidding!” He said, “I’m not kidding, you can do it.” To which I replied, “I ain’t doing it!!” Well, he’s real serious now and he says, You’ll have to do it or we won’t have a funeral!” About to have a heart attack, I immediately replied, “Well, you decide…..but I ain’t singin’!!”

Time stood still! It was tense…Oh, and did I say that the family was at the door waiting to come in??! I’m telling you it was a ‘standoff’, and the clock was tickin’!  I guess he could see I wasn’t budging so he said, “OK, I’ll do it then.” You talk about a ‘sigh of relief’!! At that very moment they signaled the family to come in. He led them in “The Old Rugged Cross”. The service went off without a ‘hitch’. If I’d had to sing it, I’d venture to say they’d still be talkin’ about it today!! That’s how it was “the day I almost sang “The Old Rugged Cross”!!!


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