Make God your only source. I learned the long, drawn out, hard way. Below is a bit personal but I pray that it helps someone, somewhere in this world. I am not the type of preacher who is perfect and without blemish. I've been through some things and telling it stops the devil from telling it for you. If you don't have anything to hide, satan can't play on it. Be see-through. Be real.
When I was younger I sang a lot. In fact, I was known in my surrounding area to sing in public. (Yes, this is going to have a lot of "I's" so don't start counting them.) I started out as the Lead Singer for a country-rock group called, "Sundown" which was totally awesome. It's hard to believe that I did that sometimes. We were good and had fun. We were always on the billboard somewhere or in the newspaper. People bought me a lot of drinks that I could not possibly drink and I'd give them away. Those were my young days and Tequilla was my poison. There would be 21 Tequilla and Orange Juices on the bar. Impossible! They threw gifts at my feet as I sang. Honestly! It was wild. I sang a lot of male songs and now that I think about it, I think some girls actually 'liked' me. I'd get boxes wrapped in pink bows and red hearts on top of gift boxes and stuff. It was cool. There were matching ink pens and hair products and notebooks, tickets to events, etc. I just thanked them all and keep singing. But still my personal life was lacking. I even left Sundown and moved to Pittsburgh because I couldn't pay the rent at home and the bills. It really hurt the band and to this day, I am sorry for leaving so abruptly. I loved the guys. I did them wrong. I just wasn't making it and this chick is definitely not about prostituting even though I had a relative try to get me into that mess. Not the kid. Couldn't fathom selling my body to nasty old men. Every time I watch "Eddie and the Cruisers" now, I think of Sundown. Yea, it was exactly like that. We had a man who said that he was the devil and he was going to kill me so my band had to sweep me out of the back door once we were through with our sets, to Johnny's TransAm (the drummer) and he'd take me home early before the parties started. That devil nut followed us everywhere. It was wierd. He wasn't the only odd thing that our band experienced.
Some of my black friends were ashamed to come see me because I sang Rock and Roll. They never came to see me sing. Wow, as I type this the memories just keep coming and coming. I am the one who named the group. I said, "Sundown" and they liked it. I listen to all types of music, I still do. I just love music. The guitarist on the left was a schoolteacher, the drummer ended up being a State Policeman, the keyboardist was just plain ol' good, and the other guitarist went on the be a famous guitarist if I have the right person. I think I saw him on an insurance commercial. Maybe I am wrong. Hey, that was 1979 ya know? Lol.
My band "Push". This time black people listened because I was singing soul at that time. We filled the clubs, stadiums and dance halls. People continuously asked me to sing "Do me baby" by Prince. So sexual, so worldly. It's funny how you set back and think about things that you did when you were young. I was still performing my Craft and doing it well but to no avail financially. People would dance until they sweat. I'm in the red stripes, my brother is the tallest in white. They used to call us "Michael and Janet". He sings like him a bit. Was tall and lanky like him too.
This is me singing in Avella, Pa for the likes of Del Miller the owner of the Meadowlands Race Track, Lee Green the famous singer who shared the stage with me along with Howdy Doody whose owner later passed, Jack Piatt the developer, Arnold Palmer the golfer, Joe Hardy the owner of 84 Lumber. Their wives and friends had me signing their hats and t-shirts. It was fun. It was an unusual experience for me to sign my signature like that. I felt kinda overwhelmed a bit but happy. Somewhere in this world, someone has my signature on a hat/shirt! Hope they didn't burn it by now.
That's Bobby Shawn to my right in both pics. He's what I call the 3rd famous singer from Canonsburg. :) We've been friends for years. Haven't called him in a few months. I miss our hours long phone sessions about music. We'd swap stories and talk about...seriously...music. He fed off of me and I'd feed off of him. Gotta give him a call soon in fact. Yea, go ahead, ask him.
His wife and family are awesome. They are both cute and their kids came out just like them. What happens when the husband is handsome and the wife is beautiful? Cute kids!
This is he and I bringing in the New Year around 1990 or so at the Holiday Inn in Meadowlands. Yea, I was chunky then. I had been going through a lot at the time. My life has never been easy. See how much God has brought me and saved me from? It gets deep really but God is good. God saved me from death as an infant and then some (as they say), drinking, smoking, and from just finding ways to "sell my soul". God is good.
I wasn't extremely famous but I was semi. I brought in New Years galore, sang at weddings, funerals, parties, festivals, was on tv, did some voice commericals, opened many towns parades, did background on a few projects, 4th of July celebrations, sang with other singers and other various outings, yet I still couldn't seem to make it financially.
Below (hopefully if I did the pics right) is me singing with other singers in Canonsburg's stadium for the 4th of July. After we performed separately we got together (Bobby Shawn, Hug McKinney his pianist and I) and we did God bless America and other songs while the fireworks went on behind us. Twas fun! Sorry the pic is blurry.
I entered "Talent Treasure Hunt "88 in Washington, Pa. and won the Female slot. That was fun, "Somewhere over the Rainbow".
Brenda Waters at Channel 2 news in Pittsburgh, Pa. and the Weatherman from Channel 11 in Pittsburgh, Pa., C. S. Keys. Women were all over that handsome man! He left Pittsburgh after a while though. I sang for them at Washington, Pa.'s African American festivals.
I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with these people and they were great to be around, but still my bills weren't paid, my life sucked and I wasn't happy. The main problem is that they had all the money and love and I didn't. I always fell for the men who needed a place to stay and got dogged with each one. They'd sit in the house drunk as I cut grass and emptied garbage. I never had love and didn't know what it was if it bit me in the butt. While I was signing hats and t-shirts at the time while smiling and watching people dance and be entertained, my children were washing with and drinking water out of milk jugs full of water from the laundrymat and the local gas station. Something was amiss. Ever go to a hospital or a random hotel with a towel and some soap? I have. Still I struggled, not realizing that no one could take care of me like God could.
A true blessing was when I was placed in Canonsburg, Pa's Bicentennial 2002 "Canonsburg Reflections" book (page 185) :) as one of the singers from our area besides Bobby Vinton and Perry Como. There were so many times that I performed with a huge smile on my face and had no gas, electric or water at home but no one knew it. We even had church a few times after I got ordained in my later years, and used candles and kerosene heaters but we had church! This sista has been through the wringer guys. If only you knew.
As time went on, I got closer to the Lord and that was one of the best moves that I could have ever made. Ever since I have been singing and serving Him, I've had many blessings come into my life; undeserved blessings. I did absolutely NOTHING to get them. All that I do is believe in His Son Jesus and every day of my life is like getting a UPS package....you never know what you are going to get. Forrest Gump perhaps? (His mothers chocolate boxes.) Yes, I still go through things but having Jesus to help me is soooo much easier. I pray that whoever reads this will do the same. Give Jesus your battles, your finances, your voice and hands, your children and home, your job and car, your life. God said that He will not see His children begging bread. God is a much better caretaker. Jesus already died for you and did the hard stuff so all that you have to do is the easy part....give it all to Jesus. It's no joke. It's very real. Trust Him. He will give you the desires of your heart. Oh yes, and stay away from the negative. The way that my life went I realize that I still do have some positive memories. I will cherish them forever. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. Our God is not a negative God. The bible says in many verses that even God laughs. Laugh, live and love.
Have a great day!
Esther R. Scott