“He remembers his raisin’!”

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On Saturday Ray, Mother, and I drove to our local high school for our town’s annual concert by award-winning bluegrass artists Dailey and Vincent. They played at Carnegie Hall a few weeks ago, but on Saturday they were slated to play in the gym.

I have written about Dailey and Vincent twice before, once when they did another local concert and once when they sang for my friend Miss Joy’s 100th birthday party. Jamie Dailey moved to our town when he was three years old. He grew up here, playing and singing in his daddy’s band–and winning the hearts of local folks.

I have never been ga-ga about a musical group, not even when I was a girl. Why, when my eleven-year-old Aunt Emily invited me to watch the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, she sat there screaming like the girls on TV and I wondered what in the world had happened to my playmate!

While I still don’t understand that, I do understand why these guys and their band have such a following. I have been trying to find words to describe what I heard on Saturday, but I’m still looking for those words. It was one of those experiences that I just have to cherish while being content that I can’t describe it adequately.

We have always sat on the bleachers at these concerts, but I wanted to get there early enough on Saturday for Mother to get to sit in one of the folding chairs on the floor. That’s why we got to a 3:00 p.m. concert shortly after 1:00. Even at that, we were numbers 25-27 in line.

Number 25 and Number 26
Number 25 and Number 26

Kind Ray dropped us off and parked the car, so he had to be . . .

Number 27
Number 27

For the first time, we got seats on the floor and were even able to save some for our friends who joined us. In that two-hour concert, we absorbed perfect harmony, amazing bluegrass musicianship, and messages of faith, love, patriotism, and fun.

Not Quite Carnegie Hall
Not Quite Carnegie Hall — Jamie Dailey is second from left and Darrin Vincent is at far right.

At the end of the concert, we stood for at least the third standing ovation and then began to mingle in the crowd, made up not only of fans but of supporters. There’s a difference.

My friend went up a row or two to thank a Korean War veteran who had stood when the band honored veterans and sang to them. His wife told us they have known Jamie since he was three years old. She told about the time they went to see Dailey and Vincent when they played at a concert at Renfro Valley (over two hours from here) and how they had sung to them then in celebration of their sixtieth anniversary. As we chatted her husband’s eyes welled up with tears.

I chatted with a lady from our church who grew up here and maintains her home here, though she serves as the chancellor of an innovative college that is part of a major university system six hours away. She had come here to support Jamie in their concert yesterday and had been to another of his concerts in South Carolina a few weeks ago. She told me, “Jamie hasn’t forgotten his raisin'” — that’s a southernism for living up to what your folks taught you.

Here’s what Jamie Dailey thinks about what happened on Saturday:

We played my hometown of Gainesboro Tennessee last night and had a blast! It’s so wonderful to go home and play our music . . . I never tire of seeing all those fine people. Nothing beats home.

Jamie worshiped at our church when he was growing up. Yesterday retired schoolteacher Wanda said that he had always been a sweet little boy — and that he always will be a sweet little boy. School administrator Debbie told about the time she drove to New York to hear the duo play at Carnegie Hall (this was a year or two ago). Ninety-two-year-old Miss Katherine, who taught Jamie in high school, told about how foolish she thought Jamie was when he quit a good job about an hour from here to play bluegrass full-time in the band he was in before he and Darrin formed Dailey and Vincent. She realizes now that he was right about that.

Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:1
I’m thankful for friends and neighbors who live this before me every day.

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