Music is magic.
Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand….Stevie Wonder
Music is the emotional life of most people….Leonard Cohen
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain….Bob Marley
I see the power of music every month as I play for the residents of a nursing home in my town. Eyes that look so dull without emotion suddenly light up as they recognize a song from their childhood. Bodies that were slumped in their chairs suddenly sit up as a song brings back memories of days gone by. Faces that were so sad looking suddenly light up with a big smile as I play a song that was once their favorite. Voices that were silent began to sing along as music works its magic.
As I research songs from the past to play each week it has been interesting to see the stories behind the songs. Each Friday for a few weeks I thought I would share of these stories behind the songs that I have discovered. Hope you enjoy.
This week’s story is about the writer of an old gospel song – It is No Secret.
The writer, Stuart Hamblen was a songwriter, cowboy singer and appeared in motion pictures with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and John Wayne. My parents loved Roy Roger and Dale Evans, his wife, and was a big fan of these movies.
His songs were recorded by many artists including Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Perhaps his best known song was This Old House that was recorded by Rosemary Clooney and was Song of the Year in 1954.
Part of the Hollywood scene, Hamblen’s wife tried to get him to attend the Billy Graham crusade held in Los Angeles in 1949. At first he refused but then asked to meet personally with Graham. During his conversation with Graham, he committed his life to Jesus Christ.
Shortly thereafter in a visit with his friend, John Wayne, he was asked about the change in his life. He replied, “It’s no secret what God can do in a man’s life.” Encouraged by John Wayne to write a song about that beautiful thought, Hamblen went home and began thinking about it.
When he heard the hall clock chime out the midnight hour, he was inspired with the words of the first verse.
“The chimes of time ring out the news, another day is through”
Hamblen went on to complete the song which has been sung throughout all the small churches in town after town.
If you have not heard the song – or if you just would like to hear it again – here’s Elvis Presley’s version.
And on a personal note: I truly have found
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.