[Dixielandjazz] Old, but new!

Jim Allen jim.allen at longhornband.net
Thu Dec 13 14:13:20 PST 2012

Some of my ancestors were itinerant preachers, whose business was to go around, mostly the rural South from town to town, holding tent revivals, preaching, praying, singing, saving souls.

Arriving at a new town, they would first arrange with a local farmer to pitch their large tent in a field just outside town, then head into town to put up signs announcing the “meetings”, and spend the rest of the afternoon going around in the wagon, making public announcements, etc. to stir up interest, before heading back out to the tent.

On one occasion, after a full day of excitement generating, the preacher went back to the tent to get ready for the meeting.  When time came, one farmer appeared.  The preacher told him the start of the meeting would be delayed to allow others to get there.  After some interval, nobody else showed up.  It had never happened before, so the preacher asked the farmer what he should do.

The farmer said, “When I take a wagon load of hay out to feed the cows, and only one shows up, I don’t let that one cow starve.”  The preacher got the point immediately, and began the service.

He prayed, they sang, he preached, and prayed some more, and finally after a couple of hours, got around to the benediction.

The preacher then asked the farmer what he thought.

The farmer replied, “When I take a wagon load of hay out to feed the cows and only one shows up, I don’t make that one cow eat the whole dang load!”

Jim Allen
Coronado, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com on behalf of Bill Haesler
Sent: Thu 12/13/2012 12:38 PM
To: Jim Allen
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Old, but new!
Phil Wilking wrote [snipped]:
> ...Lord Olivier (probably only a legend)...the play he was in had only one person in the audience... 
> Another actor expressed the desire to not bother performing and Lord Olivier said "He paid for his seat and we owe him a performance," and the show went on.

Dear Phil,
There was a similar situation in the 1940s-50s during an Australian tour by Graeme Bell's Jazz Band.
At one little country town there was only one person in the audience, but the band played on, as they they had been booked for the job.
At interval, he was thanked and invited to the pub next to the hall for a quick beer.
When asked did he like the music so far he replied, "Not much, I'm the caretaker and have to put the chairs away when you finish."
Very kind regards,

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