June 28, 2007

Memphis Theatre Show To Feature Christian Artist Gary Timbs

Nationally known Christian recording artist Gary Timbs of IMCartists in Nashville will perform his Back To The Years show at the Memphis Theatre on Friday, June 29th at 7:30 p.m. The themed concert features stories and songs related to the growth of Christianity in America from the late 1700’s through the mid-1900’s.

Sponsored in part by the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance, the concert will help provide additional supplies for its Food Pantry program. The Ministerial Alliance asks that concert attendees bring one or two non-perishable food items (or a small cash donation) to the theatre for collection by the Alliance.

As a preacher’s kid and third generation minister, Timbs comes by his love of Gospel Music naturally. His grandfather began preaching in 1914 in rural Georgia and was subsequently followed in the Call to preach by Timbs’ father in 1936.

His early memories are of waking up on a bed of home-made quilts to the sound of his dad preaching, his grandmother playing the piano and his mother leading the singing in tent revivals all across the East Tennessee and North Georgia foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

At the tender age of five, Timbs made his performance debut at one of his dad’s revivals, singing a Gospel song while accompanying himself on the piano. Soon after, he began performing with his parents on various Knoxville radio and TV music programs.

On those programs, particularly the J. Bazzel Mull Singing Convention, the Cass Walker Show and Archie Campbell’s Mid-Day Merry-go-Round, Timbs encountered future Grand Ole Opry Stars like Carl Smith, Bill Carlisle, Carl and Pearl Butler, Dolly Parton, Don Gibson, Jim and Jesse, Chet Atkins, Homer and Jethro, the Every Family (Don and Phil plus parents), Eddy Arnold, Martha Carson and many others.

One memorable event for Timbs was his first brush with big league concerts. “When I was about 18, I was hired to play piano on a few show dates for Rex Humbard’s ‘Cathedral of Tomorrow’ live concert dates.

“Reverend Humbard had a big TV show by the same name that featured top Gospel groups like the Happy Goodman Family, Florida Boys and the Dixie Echoes who performed on both the TV shows and the live dates,” said Timbs.

“I was ‘live background music’ for the shows, just playing the piano while the crowds came in and again at intermission when folks went to the lobby or visited with others. After a few shows, the opening act became ill one night and they asked me to fill in with about five minutes notice.

“I was terrified to open for those big boys of Gospel. I can play nice, sedate ‘elevator-songs’ piano, but when I’m working I sing Gospel songs while playing Honky-Tonk piano. I was so nervous that night and sang three songs so fast that hardly anybody even heard them, probably!

“To my amazement, the other acts and the show promoter liked what I’d done, so I became the opening act for the rest of the tour – however, they did ask me to slow the songs down some. I worked Reverend Humbard’s live dates for about three years, which was a big boost for my career.”

Back To The Years is one show in IMC’s Themed Concert Series that also includes shows by former RCA Records Rock artist Willie Redden (‘Willie & The Red Rubber Band’) and a Country show entitled ‘Looking Back To The Future’ featuring IMC Country artist Michael Carl.

Tickets may be purchased at the theatre box office starting an hour before show time for $10.00 each on Friday, June 29th.

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