The Blind Boys of Alabama
Smile for a Saturday
The music of the season is in the air.
It’s impossible to separate Christmas from the many songs that help give the holiday its soul. They have the power to transport us through time, bringing forth memories of days and people long gone. In their melodies and well-known words, we find paths of connection - with our traditions, our loved ones, and our broader communities.
When I think of Christmas and music, so many thoughts spring forth in my mind. I think of my parents and my children when they were younger. But I also think of more recent years. And I can almost taste a fresh batch of Christmas cookies coming out of the oven.
Christmas is a time for reflection and thanks. We can recognize our blessings as well as our struggle, reveling in the power of the human spirit to persevere. All of these emotions has me thinking back this year to remarkable group of men I first met nearly two decades ago.
They were known as the Blind Boys of Alabama, and we did a profile of them for 60 Minutes II back in 2002. Two of the men we met, Clarence Fountain and George Scott, have since passed away. So too has the lead producer of the piece, a good friend and colleague of mine for many years, Michael Rosenbaum. But even now, I can’t help but smile when I think about those times.
My co-writer here on Steady, Elliot Kirschner, who was also a producer on the original piece, found a copy of a Christmas update we did from 2002. So please indulge us if this Smile for a Saturday is a bit self-referential (you’ll even hear this old reporter attempt to sing) . Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy it.