January 10, 2019

The Imperials and James Burton on the Mike Huckabee Show

The new year opened with a tremendous opportunity for the Imperials. On January 4, we made our debut with our new tenor, Will Shaw, on the Mike Huckabee Show on the TBN television network. What a reception! The Governor couldn’t have been nicer. He welcomed us with our good friend, legendary lead guitarist and rock and roll hall of Famer, James Burton. James and I were interviewed by the Governor and afterward, we went center stage for our first song, The Wonder of You was one we sang with Elvis many times. James played his familiar guitar licks and we sang the song. After a short break, we came back on with a song I wrote lyrics to, This Train, and James helped us out on the instrumental lead solo. A third song was added for their internet audience and James was featured throughout that song, Johnnie B. Goode. You may find all three of these songs on YouTube and I encourage you to watch. I would say we couldn’t have been more pleased with our reception, the sound, and the production. I have put two of the three songs on my Facebook page and they are exciting to watch and to listen to.

On January 9, we board a plane for Denmark to begin our three-week tour of Europe. Will Shaw will be with us for his first tour as tenor for the Imperials. We will introduce him to European audiences and I have a feeling they will love him. He’s an amazing singer and people will get to experience him firsthand.  We will have many new songs and hope the tour is successful. Our host, Dennis Jale, has done a lot of work putting this tour together and I think it’s going to be a great one.

I know how hard change is for people. Life is full of changes. We change from birth to toddler, to the first day in school, to Junior High, High School, college for some, marriage for others. If we don’t change, we stagnate and get complacent. So, I challenge you to not resist changes in life but embrace them. Sometimes change is for the better and sometimes it’s for worse. However, complacency is not an option in life if you want to grow. In the Christian life, we are constantly changing and being molded into the image of our savior, Jesus Christ. He will not allow us to become complacent.  May 2019 be a year of growth for you and for me. I want more of God’s best that can only be realized when we follow His lead and walk obediently in His footsteps.

January 3, 2019

Make 2019 a Great Year

Happy 2019!  I hope your 2018 was a good one. As is the case with all of us, there were ups and downs. That’s life, whether you are a Christian or not.

I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and I ’ve said many times, I don’t believe in luck. I believe success is the result of hard work and perseverance. It helps to have some talent, too!  I worked hard as a teen, as my piano instruction lasted up through college. I practiced piano when other boys were out playing ball. I HATED practice but my teacher told me I had talent and my daddy made sure I practiced. This was before video games! I happened to be blessed to have the last name of Blackwood. My father and his brothers had become very successful and I benefited from their success. Had my last name been Smith or Jones, I would never have been offered the job with the Imperials.

On Friday, January 4, 2019, the Imperials will be featured with legendary guitarist and rock and roll Hall of Famer, James Burton, on the Mike Huckabee Show. I’m not sure when it will be aired so check with your local station for dates and times.  It’s shown all over the world on the TBN Network. James and I will be interviewed about our years with Elvis and we will sing our songs with James on guitar. We will be introducing our new tenor, Will Shaw. It will be his first appearance with us and we are excited about having his exceptional talent and dedication as an addition to our group.

The year 2019 will be challenging for us all. This world is a temptation for us as Christians but we don’t have to let it form us into its mold. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds and the power of God’s Holy Spirit to become a light in this dark world. The darker it gets, the more the light of God’s love can make a huge difference in the lives of people who haven’t yet made that decision to follow Christ. I can’t make someone believe as I do, but I can tell them what God has done for me.  I’m not the harvester, just the seed planter. That decision is one with eternal significance and all other decisions pale in comparison to it.

Go out and make 2019 a great year!