Ole Time Singing Schools
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Posted 15 June 2007 - 08:24 AM
I think the singing schools started in the late 30's and 40's in Monroe County anyway. People didn't have many places to go or things to do besides work and go to church on Sundays. I was born in the 50's and I remember the Ole Time Singing Schools still going on then. My Grandma and other relative's talked of all the singing schools Mr. Arnt Camp taught and Carried on around here. I remember lots still didn't have car's when I was little some still rode in wagons back up in the hills. Some drove what was called a truck wagon, Truck with a long flat wooden back. I remember seeing Mr. Carlton Wall's a near neighbor driving one of those, he picked up people and kid's to take to church or singing schools on it , when weather was fit. I got to ride on it a few time's i remember I was about age 5 best I remember, I also thought I was really getting to do something getting to ride with Mr. Carlton on his BIG Truck to Mr. Arnts singing school . The singing school was usually held at Turon Church just across Monroe county line in Itawamba on highway 23, "Note" The church is still there and they still have some meetings there now and then. Anyway that is the most remembered Singing school I attended.
I can still smell the church and feel the smooth well worn benches there and see the piano sitting in it's honored place on left side of pulpit when you entered the door. the piano bench that Mr. Arnt rarely used.. for he would get so ingulfed in his playing and singing he would stand and really bang out those notes to good ole song's like Amazing Grace, over Yonder, how will it be at sunset time and My all time favorite I'LL Fly Away! And if the people weren't singing with much enthusim He would stop and start again after telling all to pick it up more! There were a lot of talented singers back then people i grew up around or just remember being there to sing. A few of them went on to having quartets and some still sing today or their children do. One family who was very talented I remember most from back then was the Holloway family They had beautiful voices, I remember sitting in the pew and just wishing I could sing like Sue and Lynn When they started singing the hair would rise on my neck! By the way they still sing some and one of their Children has a group today that are still great singers! My Half sister was another who sang and played piano for singings I remember how she could pound those keys also taught by Mr. Arnt also. Her Son about age 4 I think could sing also for a little boy he could really let it go! Only thing was to get him to sing you had to give him a "Quarter" <Laughing> other wise he would fold his arms and no song.....someone was always handy with a quarter! He also still sings and very active in church and singing.
Well i rambled off some there back to Mr. Arntnot only was he a singer, teacher, he also built grandfather clocks and was a healer I guess you would call it , He could stop people from bleeding, if they were cut, I don't know how he did this but i know it worked. He could pass his ability along to someone else of his choosing , but when he did he could no longer do it himself. Late in his life he passed it on to a singer he was fond of I guess i better now mention who , BUT I know she can do it also because I has seen her do it, so I can attest that it is truely a gift and it's not "witch craft" but a gift granted by Christ and from the Bible! Mr. Arnt also carried on singing schools in what is called the Bethleham community of Smithville,That old Church still stands and has regular services. I remember going there quite a few times, as that was where my mother's family were member's. The one's I remember from Mr. Arnt's singing school's there were the Hathcock Family, the Murry's and Mc Milligans, The Coxes and some of the Addington's One singer who is passed now was Namoi Aggington Patterson she had a voice like a bird and sang many years all around. There were many more but at the moment I cannot recall all of them off the top of my head so to speak. I do remember the Dinner's on the ground as they were called after the big meetings,,, and the mounds of food the ladies brought and spread out under the big oaks and all the fun us kid's had running , playing and eating!The kid's of today don't have any Idea what a meeting or singing is let alone attended any. I really think more parent's should teach their children thing's about the past so they have a better understanding of who and where they all came from.
Also back (in the days) was another local kind of famous band called The Dixie Rambler's whitch is another story that I hope to write about soon and put picture's of them on here. Till then look up some of the ole Timie songs and sing them maybe even some of you know them already .... I'll Fly away, Life's Evening Sun,I feel Like Traveling On,Cannana's Land,This World is Not My Home,Opps I think thats calledWhere the Soul Never Dies! I tend to use verses as name of songs sometime's over look me... I am getting old remember? <grining> Till Later and ya'll look up some history of your town I bet local libraries has many things on the past.
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