Back in the 1960’s, a very wise man, who happened to be my dad, said, “People who have music in their lives and hearts are usually happy folks, and they have opportunities in life that others don’t often have.”
My musical journey began as a six-year old carrying a Liberty National satchel filled with John Thompson’s “Teaching Little Fingers to Play” into the studio of my beloved teacher, Miss Rachel Jackson. Playing the piano opened up a whole new world, one that I loved and thrived in.
Under Mrs. Peggy Hoobler Davidson’s tutelage in elementary school music, my classmates and I first learned to hear and sing harmony – a joyful discovery.
Along came Coach Pat Upton, who took a great risk in appointing me his accompanist for the Jasper Junior High Glee Club. I was hooked, and have been accompanying ever since.
A lifetime of opportunity ensued. I accompanied for outstanding soloists, ensembles, and choirs. I was afforded the privilege of working with some of the very finest musicians on earth.
These days, I am no longer in the studio, but I have the honor of rubbing shoulders with the youth of Walker County’s “brightest and best” as I work in the Bevill State Community College library. Occasionally, the sound of singing emanates from the stacks, as we go about the day.
Does music enrich our lives and provide unimaginable opportunities? Absolutely!
Yes, sweet Daddy, you were right. 78
Words by Pat Bowden
Image by Al Blanton
Originally published in 78 Magazine in Feb/March 2017