June 28, 2018

A Message That Resonated Loudly and Clearly

By this time in our careers and after the second release, Imperials Now, we had really begun to establish a reputation. That can be good and that can be bad! Fortunately, it was mostly good. Yes, we had long hair and were a bit unconventional in appearance but our music spoke to a wide variety of listeners. With every Imperial release, you didn’t know what you were going to get. I remember well, going to a very conservative Christian college which shall remain nameless. We were warmly welcomed by the students and tentatively accepted by the faculty. While the students loved us and our music, the faculty endured us. Though they didn’t understand the music, they couldn’t argue with the message contained in the songs. I think they couldn’t get past our clothes! No suits, no ties, but a message that resonated loudly and clearly to all the listeners.

We got the call from Colonel Parker’s office in the spring of 1969. We were singing with Jimmy Dean, working in huge venues around the country as a supporting act for Jimmy and getting great reviews. National television was opening up for us and it seemed that God was smiling on us. I think our appearance on the Merv Griffin Show when we got a chance to sing, we chose He Touched Me. We could have chosen a more contemporary song with a watered down message but we decided to go with our heart. It seemed that God smiled on us that night. Unsolicited positive responses from the actress, Greer Garson, only served to enhance our appearance. So, in June of 1969, we flew to LA to begin rehearsals with the TCB band and the Sweet Inspirations at Universal Studios in Hollywood. You can witness some of those rehearsals in Elvis’ movie, “That’s The Way It Is”. We would arrive in the morning and spend two to three hours on vocals and then Elvis would drive up either on his motorcycle or his Mercedes Benz. Elvis always made a statement when he walked in.

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