In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions
Good morning friends, hope you all had a good week. We got plenty to bless you with today, we got Elvis and Rev. Howard Finster, we got The Blind Boys Of Alabama and Miss Etta James, can I get a hallyloo? If you don’t know already, or forgot, it’s Father’s day today and so our verse this morning comes from the fourteenth chapter of the gospel of John, a famous verse in which Jesus says
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2
It forms the basis for a good number of musical interpretations, some of which are included in our service here today. I recall sometime when we was young-uns how me an’ brother Randy would wish Elvis was our Daddy, take us ridin’ around in his big pink cadillac, eatin’ all kindsa deep fried sweet things and jumpin’ about doin’ karate in that crazy jungle room and what all. Boy, it sure looked like a good time. Lookin’ back now of course I doubt it would have been such a great idea in reality, no sir. We went on to wishin’ we were Elvis too, which might have been an even worse idea. Graceland ain’t that big a mansion neither. Not that I’da been complaining about it so much.
The cover picture here is one by folk artist Rev. Howard Finster. If you somehow managed to avoid him on your journey so far we’re real pleased to introduce you. Finster had a whole different idea ’bout Elvis, he really liked that picture of him as a lil’ guy – the one on the front of ‘Elvis Country’ y’know – and done a whole load of paintings of it, they usually got the words ‘Elvis at 3 is a angel to me’ on his knee and a bunch more other stuff besides. One of them pictures is down at the bottom here. We’re also including today some of the title track from the album ‘The Night Howard Finster Got Saved’. It’s a pretty unique recording friends. It’s a long free form tape collage type deal, sorta thing they love and programme the rest of the time over at basic.fm yes sir, yes ma’am. It features Howard singin’ some gospel numbers and preachin’ some and generally exhorting us all to stay away from hell and such built up in layers with what sounds like crowd recordings and someone (maybe Howard) preachin’ through a bullhorn and so on. The full thing is about 25 mins long, we gots about 5 of ’em into the broadcast for you but the mixcloud stream and the download gonna run on to the end makin’ them a whole deal more filled with righteous fire!
Now, while it’s true that most of the stuff here today thinks on the image of God as our heavenly father and us as all his children, there’s one amongst them that’s talkin’ bout a deal more earthly vision of fatherhood. The Winstons’ ‘Color Him Father’ ain’t even really a gospel song, but it brings a message for today about fatherhood. It tells the story of a young man growing to accept, love and value his stepfather, and suggests that maybe there’s a deal more to bein’ a father than biology. I know, ain’t a lot of songs like that right? It won a grammy, but has been totally upstaged its whole life though by the mighty B-side ‘Amen Brother’ which invented a whole genre of yer modern clanky bangy music. There’s even a whole film about it, have mercy!
Here then friends, are the tunes included in today’s basic.fm broadcast.
Elvis Presley – In My Father’s House
Blind Boys Of Alabama – Our Fathers’ Praying Ground
The R.B Gospel Singers – Father, I Pray
Etta James – To My Father’s House
The Winstons – Color Him Father
Aubrey Ghent – Father In Jesus’ Name
Hubert Cunningham – In My Father’s House
Bishop Perry Tillis – Heavenly Father
Blind Boys Of Alabama – Father I Stretch Out My Hands To Thee
Howard Finster – The Night Howard Finster Got Saved
(click Lil’ Elvis to download)