Musical Money

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Fourteen

Those who know me well probably won’t believe this, but the first money I remember earning was for singing.

When I was about four or five years old my family rented a house on Academy Street in downtown Maynardville. The yard did not have much grass in either the front or the back.

The front yard was mostly consumed by a coal pile. I remember once I fell off the front porch into the coal pile, resulting in painful skinned knees.

I fared no better in the back yard. When we lived there, there was no indoor bathroom—there was an outhouse as close to the back of the lot as possible. Often my mother would rinse the chamber pot and empty the rinse water into the muddy back yard. I remember once falling off the back porch and into the muddy muck. As I fell, I obviously screamed, and hit the mess with my mouth open. The result was not pleasant.

I also conducted my first scientific experiment in this house. I stuck a bobby pin into an electrical outlet, and the pin conducted electricity all the way up my left arm. Perhaps this is what developed a quick reflex to avoid pain in the future.

My half-brother Jerry Sampson lived with us for a while. He was just finishing high school, and he had worked a part-time job and bought himself a console stereo. I loved to hear records played on that stereo. Unfortunately, Jerry married and took his stereo with him. I probably pined over the loss of hearing records, for soon after my father bought a small cabinet model stereo. He was afraid I would mess with it and damage it, so he had Irby Monroe build a platform for it to sit on.

I did not tear up the stereo, but I remember standing in a straight back chair so I could watch one record in particular go round and round on the turntable. It was a Columbia Special Products record (“18 Great Country Hits”) that Mother ordered from television. It was one of my all-time favorite recordings, and I still have it today.

I would sing along and imitate the singers, as most children can do before their voices change during adolescence. It didn’t matter if the singer was male or female, single or a group, I could sing lead with the best of them.

Our landlord was Kenneth D. (Buck) Buckner. His wife Jessie was my mother’s Sunday School teacher, and also an English teacher at Horace Maynard High School, as I was later to learn. I don’t know what I sang for Buck. Perhaps it was Carl Smith’s “Foggy River”, or Roy Acuff’s “Wabash Cannonball”, both of which were on the record. It might even have been Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” or Johnny Horton’s “North to Alaska”. (For a special treat, look these songs up on Youtube and enjoy!)

Buck was very complimentary of my singing ability, so much so that I told him, “Most people pay me for singing.” Buck thought that was hilarious. Perhaps others did pay me for singing, but Buck paid me the first money I ever remember earning, a whole quarter!

I would say now that most people would pay me not to sing. In the days before Central Finance, the Union County Board of Education had its own finance manager, Glenn Coppock, in house. Glenn is the song leader at Hubbs Grove Baptist Church. I was singing in the Central Office one day, and Glenn told me that I had better keep my day job.

Wonder if Buck Buckner would have agreed with him? Maybe they just had different tastes in music, or perhaps adolescence robbed me of my fine voice. Regardless, I didn’t ask Glenn to pay me, for I feared I would be the one to have to pay him for listening, and since he cut my paycheck, I did not think it wise.

I leave you this week with a quote I found on Internet by one of Union County’s finest sons, the Country Gentleman himself, the late, great Chet Atkins:
“When I was a little boy, I told my dad,
‘When I grow up, I want to be a musician.’
My dad said: ‘You can’t do both, Son.’”

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Obituary

Merlin Rose Johnson

Merlin Rose Johnson, age 82, of Andersonville, formerly of Knoxville, passed away July 17, 2019. She enjoyed her career in nursing at Ft. Sanders Regional Hospital and attending gospel singings. She was a wonderful cook, and spent much time in the kitchen preparing meals. She was preceded in death by her father Ed Miller and husband Virgil Johnson.

Robert L. "Speedy" Dyer

Robert L. (Speedy) Dyer-age 65 of Corryton went to be with the Lord Monday, July 1, 2019 at his home. He was a member of Corryton Church and was a retired employee of Tomcat USA. Preceded in death by his wife, Sally; father, Robert (Bob) Dyer; mother and step-father, Jean and Bill Danley.

Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Jr.

Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Jr.-age 46 of Knoxville passed away Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home following a brief battle with cancer. He was a member of Fairview Baptist Church, Luttrell. Preceded in death by father, Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Sr.; mother, Joyce Bailey Cline; grandparents, Frank and Mary Bailey; granddaughter, Riley Hubbs.

Reverend Luther Cox

Reverend Luther Vineyard Cox – age 93 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 peacefully at home with his family by his side. He was a lifelong member and former pastor of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Luther was retired from Dempster Brothers and was a United States Army Veteran serving in World II.

Lowell Edward George Sr.

Lowell Edward George, Sr., age 81 of Knoxville went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11:05 am with his family surrounding him. He was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church, Fountain City and lifelong resident of Knoxville. He was greatly loved by his family and all who knew him and was a father figure to many. Lowell is preceded in death by mother and father Eva and Tom Newberry.

Samuel Earl Hampton

Samuel “Sam” E. Hampton, age 70, formerly of Beckley, WV, passed away peacefully at home in Knoxville, TN on Thursday, July 4, 2019. He loved football and was an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns. He was also a lover of animals.
Survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharron Hampton and daughter Jennifer and her husband John Morris.
A service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with Minister Brad Hood officiating.

Clarence Henegar

Clarence Henegar, age 85, lifelong resident of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord on July 3, 2019. He was a member of Salem Baptist Church for 50 years, and served as a deacon for 40 years. He was a graduate of Central High School, and went on to graduate from Cooper Institute. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 32 years of service. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling, and was an avid golfer. He was very well known in the dancing community. As a young man he enjoyed square dancing, and in later years, ballroom and country dancing.

Donald L. Fowler

Donald L. Fowler, age 80, of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019. He enjoyed spending time with his family and eating out. He is preceded in death by wife of 26 years Carol Fowler, parents; Hugh & Hester Fowler, brothers; Albert, Billy, Glenn and James, and by dog Peanut. He is survived by son Keith Fowler, brother Wilbur Fowler of Springfield, Tennessee and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 2:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Grove Heights Baptist Church (818 Frank Street Knoxville, TN). A service will follow at 4:00pm with Rev.

Lois Lee

Lois Ann Lee – age 67 of Maynardville, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 2019.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Lee; parents, Clarence and Dorothy Effler; sister, Linda Sexton; brothers, Bobby and Charlie Effler. Lois is survived by her daughter, Sheila (Kenneth) Lawler; son, Bobby (Tammy) Tharp; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sisters, Emma (Bill) Collins, Karen (Randy) Chamberlain and Gerri (Mark) Ford; brother, Sandy (Peggy) Effler; and a host of loving nieces and nephews and other family members.

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