For as long as I can remember, the Jackson’s have always been a singing family. I recall my preschool years in Blytheville Arkansas, when my Dad sat in the back row of the choir at Trinity Baptist Church and my Mom played the organ. Every Sunday morning us four children sat side by side on the front row and behaved the best we could for being little more than babies. None the less, we sang right along with the rest of the congregation word for word every song. To this day, I can sing almost any song from the Baptist Hymnal without ever looking down at the words.
I was probably four or five at the time when I was first asked if I wanted to sing. Lisa, the oldest of us four, was in the children’s choir and I had tagged along with her one Sunday afternoon for a Christmas rehearsal. The choir director asked me if I wanted to sing with them. I remember Lisa saying right away, “She’s not old enough.” The details at this point are a little blurry, but I do recall standing up with the choir and listening to the others giggle because I had the song sheet upside down. She asked if I wanted to sing, she didn’t ask if I could read! It didn’t matter to me, because I got to sing, and I liked it.
The adult choir that year did a Christmas cantata titled “Love Transcending”. My Dad sang a solo that year that I will never forget. He sang “O Holy Night” like an angel. I was so impressed at such a young age. Funny thing is, I don’t remember a lot of things from my childhood. As I get older, the things I do remember become cloudy in details. But one thing I do remember, is seeing my Dad standing to sing his solo, and it seemed like a hush came over the whole earth that night just to hear him sing. I think that is when I really learned to LOVE music, that is when, deep in my heart, I knew that music was a part of me that could not be denied. And this was only the beginning.
By: Nancy Jackson-Ferguson