She Died And Wasn’t Discovered for 3 Years

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The other day I watched a documentary on Netflix called Dreams of a Life. It tells the story of 38 year old Joyce Vincent, who died in her apartment in 2003 and was not discovered until 3 years later.

The film itself was very well done and wasn’t so much about the logistics of why she wasn’t missed earlier but rather the social reasons for why she was so alone that nobody noticed she was gone for 3 years. The filmmaker interviewed former boyfriends and co-workers that she had, and painted a picture of who this woman was.

You can go watch the film yourself, but it all amounts to the fact that she wasn’t really connected to any kind of community  and she had no real relationships. Whenever she got a boyfriend, she simply adopted that person’s network. Her boyfriend’s community was her community; his interests were her interests, etc. She was afraid of letting people in and thus never really developed strong friendships.

It made me think how thankful I should be to have a church community that cares and to be in a place where someone will notice if you’re gone. (Sidenote: That’s why it speaks volumes if you notice somebody isn’t at church and you check up on them to see how they’re doing. It shows that you care.) In pre-marital counseling, we’ve talked about how our deepest longing is to be significant, and important and to be remembered. When we are God’s children, we are never forgotten. We may die and leave this earth but our names are forever written in the Book of Life.

Still, it says something about the cultural fabric of society when community has lost its place. Church communities are powerful because they are centered around the worship of the one true God. The Bible talks about putting others before yourself, and being a servant. American Individualism flies in the face of that and encourages people to go it alone (the woman in the film was from the UK, but I’ve digressed). When you go it alone, don’t be surprised to find yourself lonely.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, it’s important to treasure what matters most. Our God, our salvation, our family, our friends, our church. In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul speaks of his thankfulness for the church in Corinth and their faith and God’s faithfulness. Let that be your model. And don’t be that person that never reached out and connected with others. Don’t coast through life. In the end, we all die. But for the Christian, death is just a doorway.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

P.S. Sorry if the post is a little disjointed…I have a headache the size of Texas. But if you read it, let me know what you think!

3 Musicians You Didn’t Know Influenced the World

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There’s a lot of really great music out there. Often, we take it for granted without really investigating the origins of the melodies we enjoy so much. Each artist is influenced by someone else, and that someone else had someone who influenced them, ad infinitum. There’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, yet each song has it’s own unique character. Here, then, are 3 musicians that you had no idea influenced the world with their music.

#3 Jackson C. Frank Sings the Blues


Who? 
Jackson C. Frank has been called the most important forgotten singer of the 1960’s by David Fricke (music editor for Rolling Stones magazine). A folk singer who only recorded a single album during his career, Jackson C. Frank had greater success in Britain and Scotland than he did in America. When he was 11, a school fire injured him and killed several of his classmates, causing deep psychological scars that later influenced his music. He went to London and recorded his one and only album, which immediately became so popular that he was asked to a number of radio performances, which helped establish himself in the London folk scene. (Source)

How Did He Influence the World? Frank recorded his album with Paul Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel fame. He must have made quite the impression, because his hit song,  The Blues Run the Game, was covered by Simon and Garfunkel. Furthermore, Frank’s influence in Europe cannot be pushed aside. His songs from 1965 were still bringing him royalty income until his death in 1999.

#2 Rufus Payne teaches a country legend to play guitar

Who? Rufus Payne is not a well known name by most in modern day America. Better known as “Tee Tot”, Payne was a simple small town musician who played his music on the street corner to entertain passers-by. He worked odd jobs in town and played songs with a couple other local musicians. He made quite the impression on a young 12 year old boy, who heard him and determined that he would learn guitar from him. That young boy was Hank Williams, the quintessential country legend. It’s well-documented that Payne taught Williams not just guitar, but how to see the world as an artist. (Source)

How Did He Influence the World? Payne’s influence on Williams was vital to his development as a musician. Without his teaching, Williams would never have become the musician that he was, being a somewhat awkward guy that probably would have become a doctor or lawyer without someone awakening a musical interest within him. And without Hank Williams’ influence, another great artist would never have experienced inspiration. Who was that, you may ask?

Only folk legend Bob Dylan. 

#1 Arthur Alexander Helped Start the Beat

Who? Arthur Alexander was a musician who wrote a number of galactic hits that he never really profited from. The reason for this is that he influenced a lot of other popular artists so much so that they covered his songs and popularized them. Born in 1940 in Alabama, Arthur Alexander recorded his first album when he was 20 years old, and didn’t follow up with a second album until 1972. It’s said that he eventually left music and worked as a bus driver at a center for disadvantaged kids. (Source)

How Did He Influence the World? Alexander had a huge influence on the popular musicians of the 1960’s and 70’s. Rock n’ roll giants The Beatles were one of his biggest fans. Lennon idolized him and McCartney said that they wanted to sound like Arthur Alexander. Their songs Anna (Go to Him)Soldier of LoveA Shot of Rhythm & Blues were all Arthur Alexander songs that they covered. Bob Dylan also covered an Arthur Alexander song, and not to be left out, so did The Rolling Stones. And finally, yet another rock legend who found him inspiring, Elvis covered his song Burning Love in 1972. Few artists in history  have been covered by such popular acts and then forgotten, which probably makes him the most influential artist in history that nobody has really heard of.

That’s it, folks! Do you have an artist that you think deserves recognition? List them below in the comments (to comment with your Facebook, click the Facebook icon in the upper right corner of the comment box!

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