Gospel tunes tell powerful stories, but have you ever wondered about the tales behind some of those songs? Well, Marva Blackmore has done the research for you and she is joining up with local singer Brian Lecky to share her findings in Turn Your Radio On! , November’s Tales for the Telling show at the MacMillan Arts Centre.
“People love to hear a story told to them,” said Blackmore. “They realize stories are not just for children.”
There are a lot of gospel songs, so Blackmore had quite the task picking only a handful of them to include in the show. She decided to opt for well-known songs with interesting stories.
According to a news release from the MAC, some of this famous music does not have the origin that you would anticipate and some of the songs are not even known as for being gospel. For example, Amazing Grace is not based on a Negro spiritual and Crying in the Chapel is not the story of a young girl crying over a lost love.
There will also be a little mystery element to the show as Blackmore will tell the story of each song without mentioning its title. The identify of the tune will only be revealed after she is finished and Lecky begins to sing the song.
This is Blackmore and Lecky’s second time working together. Last year they presented a similar show about Christmas carols.
When deciding on which genre to tackle for this show, Blackmore said they were “looking for music that suited Brian’s (baritone) voice.”
Both performers are well-practiced in their halves of the show. Lecky has frequently been on local stages including Bard to Broadway and Echo Players, and Blackmore has told stories internationally and at venues across Canada including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Turn Your Radio On! runs Nov. 28 from 7:30- 9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m.
According to Linda Matteson-Reynolds, the MAC’s administrator, the storytelling evenings are very popular, so people are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at the MAC during regular gallery hours. Tickets are $12 for general admission or $10 for OCAC members.
For more information, contact the MAC at 250-248-8185.