28 October 1969 (age 47)
Pomona, Los Angeles County, California, United States
When The Blind Boys of Alabama open their mouths to sing, what comes out is older than salvation, older than redemption. It is the sound of oppression and struggle. It is the sound of revelation and liberation. It is a sound as old as time. The Blind Boys of Alabama are the pyramids of gospel music; the birthplace of sacred soul.
The three original members of the group, (which started out in 1939, as The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama) Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and George Scott, are all in their mid to late seventies and are all completely blind. Jimmy and George blind from birth, and Clarence, the group's founder, from around age five. His stepmother tried to cure his eye infection with a "home remedy" and blinded him for life.
I have now spent a considerable amount of time with all of them, and I know for certain, they see what we won't, they see what we don't, and they see what we can't. It is an honor to be in their presence and to know they are my friends. I thank them for the singing lessons, and more importantly I thank them for teaching me that blessings are a privilege, not a birthright, and are never to be taken for granted.
What started out as me working with them on a couple of tracks, blossomed and bloomed into an entire record in eight days. It all happened so fast. If it weren't for the recordings that prove that this magic actually happened, I would not be entirely aware of what went on.
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