Connie, OKBill and I drove to OKC after work and arrived at Crossings Community Church at 6:15 pm. Clare saved us two seats in the fifth row left of the stage. I saw Glenda and Tiffanie, too. Andrea and her grandparents were sitting behind us! The Gaither Vocal Band concert started at 7 pm in the dark. Mark sang, “One voice singing in the darkness.” David joined him, then Michael, Wes and Bill with the stage lights on their backs. They were all standing in separate areas of the stage. This is the Barry Manilow song One Voice beautifully sung a cappella by the greatest voices in the business! It was an inspirational and dramatic opening to a wonderful concert night!
These five men of the Gaither Vocal Band came together at center stage to sing Where No One Stands Alone. What passion is in their voices! Then they sang an upbeat song, I Catch ‘Em, God cleans ‘Em. As I was taking pictures during this song, the house lights were turned on. I peeked around my camera on both sides and David waved at me! I waved back! After this song, Mark Lowry said, “Bill Gaither for President!” Everyone cheered! Mark said Bill knew Eisenhower and Truman. Bill said he would make Gordon Mote the Transportation Secretary! Mark would be the Secretary of State, because he could fix all the problems. Mark said he would just “bomb people.”! He asked Bill who had fixed his hair tonight & “I told you not to let Gordon do your hair!”
They sang Journey to the Sky, picking up Wes when he sang a high part! Bill talked about Wes and that he was the youngest member of the group at 34 years old. Mark was making his usual comments. Some pictures were shown on the screens of his dogs. They were distorted to look terrible. Mark commented that he took in the ones nobody wanted. “I’m so much like Jesus!” David laughed! Greatly Blessed was next with David sitting out on this song, until the end. David’s solo of Nessun Dorma received the first standing ovation! Bill talked about getting to hear that great tenor voice every night, referring to David. He told us that he had known Pastor Marty Grubbs, of Crossings Community Church, since they had gone to college together. Bill also mentioned the pastor’s wife and that “she is good for nothing!” He didn’t mean to say that & tried to correct what he had said. It just got worse and worse with Mark messing with him, too! Everyone in the GVB was laughing so hard! Bill finally walked down to the front and hugged Mrs. Grubbs to apologize.
Gordon Mote played and sang Getting Ready to Leave This World and everyone sang along to Through it All. Mark sang Mary Did You Know. Standing ovation for him as everyone loves this song! The GVB sang a song from their new CD which is due to release Sept. 11th, 2012. It starts out, “Jesus is with me when the storm clouds gather and the winds of this world are blowing strong.” The name of this song is Winds of This World. The arrangement is a little different than I have heard before. I wonder who arranged it? Probably David! Bill talked about Gloria having knee replacement surgery and that she is doing well. She was in rehab. Mark interrupted Bill and said, “She was not in rehab, she was doing physical therapy! Gloria is not in rehab!” Bill told us that Gloria was in NY receiving an honorary doctorate degree. He had asked her how many honorary doctorates she had received. She said she had 5 or 6 and Bill said he only had one. Mark said he had gone to college and his college had tried to give him an honorary degree. He refused and said it would be like putting whipped cream on cornbread! Bill said he was going to sing a solo and the audience was very quiet. He commented “Such an overwhelming response!” He sang, “Through changing seasons, Tho’ Autumn’s Coming On”, a very emotional and touching song. All in All was lead by David. What a beautiful song! Their voices sounded so beautiful together on this song!
Michael English lead Daystar with a standing ovation for him. The last “barn-burner” song before intermission was It is Finished! Of course, everyone was standing at the end with their hands raised in worship! Jesus is Lord!!!! Everyone left the stage except for Bill, who led us in At Calvary sing-along. He said we’d have a 20 minute intermission and have a drawing after intermission for the $150 in Gaither product!
David was at his table at intermission, talking with phans, signing autographs and posing for pictures! Jack saw me in the crowd and said hi. OKBill was helping at the table, too. Jenn was working at DP’s table, as usual. Charlotte was next to DP’s table standing at her table all alone (she hadn’t been on stage yet). We went over to talk with her. We got in line with Andrea, Jim & Cece to get pix with DP. Cece said, “I miss his curls.” They went up to talk with DP. Cece said, “You cut your hair!” DP said, “That mop – I was glad to get rid of it.” (He was talking to old friends. Andrea played violin for David when he was doing more solo concerts.) I took a picture of them, since their camera wasn’t working. Someone said to David about Andrea, “You quit her.” He answered, “She books for me, I won’t let her quit.” They asked him if he would be at his table after the concert and he said he would be getting on the bus – He didn’t want to miss the bus! Cece took two pictures of Connie, DP & me. I asked him if he got any rest on the cruise. He said, “We got some rest.” I also asked him if he got off of the ship much and told him I had seen a picture of his family in Puerto Rico. He said that he got off of the ship a few times, but hadn’t seen the photo. I told him it was on Lori’s FB page. Also, told him I loved It is Finished! He said, “It’s one of our favorites!” Then it was time to let others get their chance to talk with him. As we walked back to our seats from the atrium, David was walking back too. A lady stopped him to ask him if he could take her card for the drawing. He told her he had to get back on stage and that she could give it to someone at the Gaither table. As he walked by us, I mentioned that he needed a body guard. He said he just needed to find out which way to get back & he didn’t know where he was, as he turned around to go backstage.
Jesus Hold My Hand was the first song after intermission with the GVB and Joyce Martin. Bill said he wanted to do some a cappella and Kevin responded, “You mean we brought this band all the way here and you want to do a cappella?!” Bill asked for a key of A Flat and Kevin said, “Get your own A Flat!” Bill went over to the piano to get the key they needed. Mark spoke up and said that he got thrown out of Cracker Barrel the other day! The cashier said, “Strip down, facing me.” Mark said, “I didn’t know she was talking about my credit card! That wasn’t very spiritual, was it?” The GVB sang Jesus on the Mainline. Mark imitated Bill and everyone was laughing. He sidled over to David and said, “I love your new haircut.” David cracked up laughing and couldn’t sing! Of course, Mark screamed out a note at the end that was horrible & had the audience on their feet. He is so hilarious!
Gordon played piano and Gene McDonald sang Lonesome Road with his deep bass voice! Standing ovation on this song! Bill played the piano and the GVB sang Hide Thou Me with Wes on the lead and Gene on bass. David sat out on this number, so the guys were back in a quartet. We sang along with He Touched Me. Joyce Martin sang the wonderful song The Promise! Charlotte Ritchey sang Down to the River to Pray with Joyce and Wes joining her. Bill told the story of Amy Grant & Vince Gill getting water baptized. She said, “For the first time, I felt clean.” Then the GVB sang Clean with David leading this song. Charlotte started singing I Stand Amazed, Wes took a verse and of course, David took the last verse! Mark talked and read scripture: Mark 11. The GVB sang O Love That Will Not Let Me Go a cappella and Mark made sure everyone knew that David arranged this song. Michael sang, “The blood that gives me strength from day to day. It will never lose its power.” Mark sang, “…cool clear water…” with everyone joining in, “too many sunsets…too many rivers…too much to gain to lose.” They sang part of Dottie Rambo’s song. Wes sang He is Here, beautifully! He received a standing ovation. They all stood at center stage to sing I Then Shall Live. The GVB ended the concert with the moving Sinner Saved By Grace! We all were standing up praising God! Bill led us singing Greatly Blessed to close out the evening at 10 pm.
After the concert, we talked with Wes. He was talking to some other fans. They were asking him about Mark and David lifting him up during Journey to the Sky. He was kidding around and saying, “I hate it when they do that! They just pat me on the head…” I told him that I thought his flip-flops were going to come off, when they lifted him up on the cruise! I reminded him that I had met him on the cruise in Nassau. Connie got her picture taken with Wes. I told him that I really liked his suit and blue shirt. He said the suit was new, but hot, as it didn’t breathe. “It looks great!” I said. He thanked me and said, “Then it’s worth it!” We talked with Kevin Williams & I reminded him that I was on the cruise. He said he thought he recognized my face, but has a hard time placing people, since they meet so many. We said hello to Gene at his table and Charlotte again. Asked her if she would be at the Barn Bash, but she said she had another booking that weekend. She told us to make sure we would ask David to invite her to the Barn Bash again. I told her I would ask David, “Why isn’t Charlotte here this year?” Jack, Jenn and OKBill packed everything up at David’s table and they were gone by 10:30 pm! We drove back to Tulsa the same evening! We were working tomorrow! Great concert, as always and some more wonderful memories to treasure!!
Gene McDonald singing Thanks to Calvary - Tulsa 8/2/14