5 Questions: Jimmy Carter of the Blind Boys of Alabama

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5 Questions is a feature by Steve Duffy –

BBOA

Jimmy Carter, center in the picture

Still not slowing down after more than 70 years of singing, Jimmy Carter shares with me his thoughts on his career and the fantastic journey that it has been for him and the group.

SD: How was The Blind Boys of Alabama formed?

JC: We were all attending a school for the blind in Talladega, Alabama. We met in choir and the rest is history. We originally named ourselves the Hackerland Jubilee Singers, then a DJ at a singer competition named us the Blind Boys of Alabama and it just stuck.

SD: As an original member and still singing 60 years later, what inspires you to perform?

JC: I love singing! I love performing for the audience and the response that you get from them. I started singing in June of 1944 and have no desire to stop just yet.

SD: Back in March, you performed at the 50th anniversary of Selma, what was that like for you?

JC: I went down there to be a part of American history. Growing up, we knew there were issues, but we never had any trouble. I was so thrilled to be part of this moment in history. I met a lot of folks that walked over the bridge so many years ago. It is a day I will never forget being a part of.

SD: What are your thoughts on modern day music?

JC: I have no interest in today’s music. Maybe it is because I am from the old school, I believe music should help make changes. Music should instruct and change the heart. It is a powerful tool and should be used to inspire.

SD: What is your favorite gospel song to sing and why?

JC: Amazing Grace – I’m a Christian and it is only because of God’s grace that I’m still here and doing what I love. When I perform Amazing Grace, I want to make the audience feel what I feel.

For more information on Blind Boys of Alabama visit www.blindboys.com and to purchase tickets to see them perform at Symphony Hall on June 6th visit www.bso.org


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