The Blind Boys of Alabama Interview: Jimmy Carter Talks About Their Calling From God!
The Blind Boys of Alabama are a five-time GRAMMY-winning gospel group who first sang together in 1944 at the Alabama Institute for the Blind in Talladega. For seven decades now the band has toured, made television appearances and produced a healthy collection of fine southern gospel albums. The performing core of the group includes three blind vocalists: original founding members Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, and Eric “Ricky” McKinnie. They are accompanied by a guitarist, bass player, keyboardist, and a drummer. A fourth vocalist, Clarence Fountain, occasionally tours with the current line-up, if his health permits. The Blind Boys of Alabama have always had a very special mission statement within their craft; they want to always “spiritually uplift audiences.” The group takes pride in being a source of inspiration for those who have disabilities. Their main objective is to deliver wonderful gospel music and give glory to Jesus Christ, and they continue to accomplish that mission.
I spoke with one of the original members of the band, their spokesperson Jimmy Carter:
Rocking God’s House: Your group has said to “spiritually uplift audiences.” How do you achieve this during performances?
Jimmy: When we go on stage I tell the audience, “Here we are. We are The Blind Boys of Alabama. We hope this performance tonight will spark something in your heart that will uplift you and make you feel good. We want are audiences to be happy; we don’t want any sad faces.”
Rocking God’s House: Tell us about the new album?
Jimmy: It’s called I’ll Find A Way. It was released in October, and I hope our fans will really be pleased with it and enjoy it. We enjoyed recording it!
Rocking God’s House: You are an original member; how long have The Blind Boys of Alabama been performing?
Jimmy: We have been together since 1944, and five GRAMMY awards later we are still going strong!
Rocking God’s House: Do you think God uses your music in a special way?
Jimmy: I really do. I believe this is our calling. We have been performing our whole lives, and we try to instill our Christian values in everything we do whenever we sing and perform. I think God is using us to glorify his Kingdom. We plant the seed. It’s up to people to make it grow, but we can plant it!
Rocking God’s House: Have you ever performed in front of President Jimmy Carter?
Jimmy: We have. Several years ago he was at a Habitat for Humanity benefit where we performed. After the performances, he met with us, shook our hands and spoke with us. He is a really sharp and smart man who loves God.
Rocking God’s House: You were recently on The Colbert Report. How was that?
Jimmy: It was a lot of fun. Mr. Colbert and I seemed to really hit it off! He is very funny and seemed to really enjoy our music.