150 thoughts on “Traveling Singing Families Redux”

  1. Reminds me of the following scenario at Sunday PM service just prior to the preachin’:

    Pastor: Sister Smith, do you have a special for us tonight?
    Sister Smith: Well, I didn’t come prepared (while fumbling through her purse).
    Pastor: Well, we always appreciate your gift.
    Sister Smith: Well, since you insist, I did find this. (Followed by a song with 6 verses – each one repeated twice.)

    1. *cringes* Been to too many of those services. At the last IFB church I went to the “pastor” ALWAYS had an open invitation for anyone who wanted to sing. “I ain’t gonna stop anyone who wants to do something for the LORD, Amen?”

      It got to where I wanted to kick him every time he asked “And does anyone else have a song for us tonight?”

      And then there was the entire “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” thing. But that’s another story altogether.

        1. Pah! You should have heard our Open Orchestra Nights!!! Dangitall, if you could play the hymns (which has different meanings to different people!) you could play in the orchestra during Missions Conference and Bible Conference.

          Four nights of horror. Most of the 40 or so were middle-schooled or high school students who couldn’t read music. Come to think of it, nor could the conductor.

          As the former organist of that church, I had to pull stops by the handfuls, in an attempt to drown out the melee and help the assembled congregants to sing….

    1. I, too, thought it must be from the 1970s, based on the terrible video quality, the chicken-fried hairdos on the mother and the two older daughters, and the mid-century microphones. And isn’t that one of those old curved-plastic-backed guitars (I think they were called Dreadnoughts) from the mid-70s?

      1. Actually, that looks like a 12 string Ovation. Not sure which model though. But it looks like an 80’s model. Although I’m not sure how much they have changed their guitar styles over the years so I guess it could be older.

    1. those kids shall not be, they shall not be moved!

      Statistically speaking, at least one of them grieved the holy spirit and became a new Bible perversion loving neo when they grew up.

    2. Yeah, I actually think they have a good harmony (traditional Appalachian “white gospel” style), but the kids couldn’t look more miserable. The parents don’t look all that exhuberant, either, come to think of it.

  2. So the KJV is right because the king of England had it authorized? In that case, lemme take an NIV with me next time I go to the UK and see if the queen can authorize it too. Because Bible translations are apparently accurate based on what earthly kings think about them.

    I hope this video is from the 1990s – if not, the poor visual quality and horrible graphics are inexcusable.

    1. James 1 requested it, as a response to the divisions in the English church, especially between the Puritans and the mainstream Church of England. One of the rules of translation was that they had to use ‘traditional’ language, such as calling ‘overseers’ ‘bishops’ to fit in with the church’s dogma.

      Ironic, considering these IFB’s would have nothing to do with Anglicans or royalty.

      1. If he hadn’t documented that this was the 90’s I would have sworn it was the 70’s. My friends still in the fundie mov’t are still wearing the same hairstyles and dresses they were wearing in the early 90s when I left. Weird. Do they know it makes them look older? My 30 something friends look like they are in their 50s.

  3. Of course, you do realize that many fundies consider these guys liberal because they are holding microphones and playing a guitar in church!
    He looks a little like Hank Williams, Sr.

  4. I was pretty sure my mind had been blown when that insane KJAV 1611 graphic came up.

    Also, as an MK that had to go on stage, dressed in native clothing and singing a children’s song in another language, I feel SO badly for those kids!

    1. I can’t watch/listen to this video, so am going to trust the KJAV1611 graphic isn’t a white piano type thing but real! πŸ™‚

      I’ve sat in services like this and thought “I sure hope someone is going to tell the parents to stop abusing their kids”.

      Someone above noted that at least 1 (hopefully) will have left IFB’ism. Sad that more than likely the majority will just re-perpetuate the abuse to their families. I hope not, but fear it’s true. Worst part for me really was the fact that everyone would just stay silent and not say a word (myself included). Would just go home feeling dirty (doubt everyone went home feeling that, but they should’ve). This isn’t near the worst I’ve seen (although only watched 30 secoonds), the ones where he kids just look like they are terrified is what I’m talking about. This kids just look miserable, not scared, IMO.

      1. My children were a major motivator for me to get out of IFB. I saw children making mistakes as children do, and parents in IFB world lose them. Instead of showing some grace and allowing a young person to grow up and make mistakes and learn from them they would give them the boot so they wouldn’t hurt the testimony of the church you know. Then they would testify that “We did everything right and you know children make thier own choices so we are not responsible”. These people worshipped the church and the MoG. What they worshipped was more imortant than thier own children!

  5. I watched the video from beginning to end. Was interested because I actually visited many churches with my gospel team (alas, was not a family group.)

    We sang in all kinds of churches, from many congregations and many denominations. We even visited some arminian churches, as well as baptists, pentecostals, and even a few papist churches thrown in there.

    We found there was no way to predict which churches were alive and which were dead. Some churches, from the same denomination were like night and day. Some churches with pastors that seemed good, were very cold. Other churches, in spite of their pastors were places that I may go visiting again on my own… they felt welcoming…

    Some churches had not seen a new person in the church for ten years while other churches didn’t mind if we repeated the same program six months later because most people were new.

    Would be curious to find out how the children have fared.

    1. ey Ricardo! I’m Jen…the one in the nice big peach dress. (which I thought was REALLY cool at the time πŸ˜‰ ) To update you on my life,I’m 34,married with 3 children,and my husband and I are raising our children in church as well. I go to a Baptist church,but I don’t think they are the ONLY way to go. I do use the KJV,and I don’t consider myself a narrowminded fundy.

  6. it seems like EVERY time i hear the fundy singing groups, the harmony is louder than the melody. Yet, I thought that all sacred melody was the most important part of the music.Just bad balancing.

    There’s the professional choral director coming out…

    1. I didn’t know what was wrong with it, I just know that if my tin ears can hear that there’s is a horrible horrible mistake going on, a drawing board may not be far enough to go back to.

  7. I’m not sure why, but I find the part where they lift their Bibles really hilarious. I cannot figure out if it’s because they’re doing this odd ritual so casually or just because I need to get more sleep…

  8. The Blunkalls use to come to our church when I was in high school (c. 1995). I had a crush on their daughters. My family had a lot of fun hanging out with them. We’d BBQ together. Good times.

  9. Listened to the WHOLE thing… too many memories. Heard these songs 100’s of times. I remember thinking how cool they were because they used the guitar and sand some different songs. Used to love that las song… “Love took it away!” Memories! πŸ™‚

  10. Actually, I was friends with the Blunkalls as well, and their dad is friend with me on FB. He’s not near as fundamentalist as I’ve seen in my days, and live, his family wasn’t bad ad singing, either. However, let’s consider the fundy sound system, usually antique with Radio Shack microphones, and the fundy sound man, usually an old man who has pieces of tape, or lines drawn strategically on the 30-year-old Peavey PA head, showing him where the “volumes” are supposed to be set. No compensation for different voices, and no reverb, compression, or other sound-enhancing effects, for those would either be too “modern”, or hard to manipulate. Thus, a direct board feed such as that is awful, no matter how talented a singer may or may not be.

    1. Jesse/TomK – I’m so glad as I listened and read through the comments that someone would have something nice to say about this fine family group. I was already feeling like these weren’t hardcore fundies, and while the kids looked somewhat bashful, I think they were truly enjoying themselves. Lead vocal was great, timing was good, harmony not bad, attitude and overall feel, real good. I wish I had been exposed to music and singing this good when I was growing up fundy.

      So what do you think Natalie, am I just trying to go against the grain again or are these guys pretty good?

      1. The Blunkalls were way more laid back than most fundies I knew. I loved when he would come and preach because he actually smiled and seemed happy. The kids got teased a lot because they never smiled much when they sang. They were all super nice and great to be around.

        My sisters have a few of their CDs. Their music is alright. Definitely made to appeal to the delicate ears of fundamentalism.

        1. Buddy Blunkall’s not near Fundy. King James, yes, but far from a legalist. I always liked when they came to our church, because his kids were fun to be around, and we’d sit around and sing after services. I actually heard him preach in a fundy church against fundamentalism. Not sure he ever was asked back, but it sure was fun to listen to! He pretty much said that it’s destroying kids.

        2. I know that I was so worried about appearing proud that sometimes when I was on stage (singing at church or during curtain calls at fundy U), I didn’t smile or I looked down at the floor because I thought smiling or looking confident might come across as pride. At times I probably looked more miserable than I was! πŸ™‚

  11. Did anybody notice the crowd really really got into it when they started in on the KJV thumping in their first song? Kinda interesting to me that the shouting only comes when talking about the KJV…I was under the impression that God’s word was great no matter what version…guess I am wrong.

    1. I think there’s an SFL post about names KJVO fundies give other versions. Or could’ve been a rabbit trail us commenters chased on an unrelated post. Anything but KJV is not the Bible to these crowds.

  12. Why was everybody shaking Bibles (or some kind of books, anyway) so menacingly at that nice singing family? Were they going to throw them, or what?
    I mean, the singing could have used a little polish, maybe, but it wasn’t that bad. 😐

    1. LOL @ Big Gary

      Why do you think those kids looked so miserable?
      To quote “Holy Hubert” (A college campus evangelist in the 70s) “The Word of God hurts, don’t it?” after he slapped someone with it. 😈

  13. If you liked “Fire on the Mountain run boys run” before you were saved, this is where you will go to church. There’s definitely a correlation between Southern twangy music and white folks waving Bibles!

  14. I checked out the Father’s facebook page, which lists links to each of the children’s pages. I think it is interesting that the added verse to the song in the video, “the preacher preached on TV, I shall not be moved” is something that their children do not abide by even today, as evidenced by their movies listed in their profiles. I guess this stuff was already in the works back when the were singing while their faces looked they were eating oatmeal out of a gas pipe. Really, my heart goes out to them.

    1. It is unfortunate that so many of those raised so close to the gospel are raised so far from God. They wind up vaccinated against “catching” the Holy Spirit that gives new birth.

      1. I wonder sometimes though if they were raised close to the Gospel or to simply a conservative, traditional religion that used parts of the Bible but ignored other parts.

        I did hear some Gospel growing up, but I’d say the greatest emphasis was on standards and the KJV. I actually heard sermons AGAINST love. (The whole point was not to compromise basic Bible beliefs in the name of love, but you can relate that without warning people about the dangers of love! God’s Word commands us to love.)

        There’s a lot of hypocrisy, pride, and self-righteousness in many “Christian” homes (I’ve seen it firsthand), and this drives people away from the Bible. It is tremendously sad. What a responsibility I feel toward my own children, because I know I’m far from perfect myself. My greatest desire is that they would follow Christ.

        1. As I have stated in other threads, fundism is not limited to IFB or KJO. At its base it is legalism, Pharisaism. It is tradition, which is the one thing listed in scripture which makes the Word of God of “none effect”. The message of Jesus was birth into personal contact with the personal God of the universe. Rules, conformaty, immatation of actions can never bring us into relationship but they can confuse young minds to later question anything they may have once felt.

        2. Rules are more important than love? I see that as the exact opposite of the Gospel.

          To me, the core of the Gospel is:
          1. “God is love.”
          2. “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
          3. Love trumps Laws (see the Parables, for example).

        3. @tlorz, I agree that fundyism isn’t only found in KJVO, IFB churches, but we just focus on that here at SFL because that’s our experience and background. There are many, many people who’d never walk in a Baptist church who think their rules and religion are gaining them access to heaven. For me, though, who REALLY believed that we were the type of church most committed to being Biblical, it’s been a terrific shock to realize how far from biblical a lot of the church’s emphases were.

          I do think I was well on my way to being a Pharisee (although I thought I was a moderate, balanced one), but God had other plans!

      2. “Vaccinated against catching the Holy Spirit,” yes. I know many people in that situation (and I think it applies to a few of the commentors on SFL).

        1. Just to be clear, I’m not accusing anybody on SFL of anything. I just meant that, by their own accounts, some people say their experience with fundamentalism made them unable to accept any theistic religion at all.

    2. You know Dave, it is people like you why people leave the church and never come back. I truly hope people who don’t know Christ don’t come on this blog and see comments by “Christians” like you. The judgmental attitude and legalistic heart is detrimental.

  15. I checked out the facbook page. Everyone of his friends with surname blunkall are young enough to be his kids, but some are probably married into the family. Everyone of them must have left fundamentalism. Some appear to be Christian (PTL), some don’t, but it’s hard to determine those things via facebook pages.

  16. I really enjoyed the Blunkalls when they came to my church when I was a teen. They seemed genuine, and happy. I’ve heard that their son Blake went into singing CCM. I knew something was good about them when my old Fundy pastor didn’t say much good about them after they left. πŸ˜›

    1. He actually took a youth pastor job in Florida for a time, then went out, and I think was in a band for a bit, but is now active in a church, I wanna say nondenom, but don’t quote me. Either way, he’s not IFB.

    2. This was filmed at Charity Baptist Church in Dayton (Beavercreek), Ohio. Blake remains my friend, and a TRUE Christian (“Little Christ”) to this day. Likewise, Esther, his sister.

  17. C’mon guys, the cruel comments here are really sad.

    Don’t pick on the kids- maybe they were just nervous.

    Besides, it’s better than all that fake Southern Gospel and CCM show-y emotion.

    1. I agree about the kids perhaps being just nervous. I know that I enjoyed singing and playing the piano, but between my nervousness and my worry about appearing “proud of myself”, I’m not sure if my face reflected a whole lot of joy especially when I was younger.

      However, isn’t it rather judgmental to label Southern Gospel fake and the emotion in CCM as showy? I’ve cried with joy in the car listening to “Days of Elijah” and there’s no one watching. No showy emotion there, just me excited over Christ’s return. While I’m sure SOME of the singing is exaggerated and the feelings are faked, I just don’t want to be judging other Christians with broad stereotypes. I used to believe everyone who held up their hands while singing was showing off. God forgive me. I know better now because I’ve met some people who do.

  18. Growing up, I would have considered myself good friends with the Blunkhalls. I’ve gone skiing with their family, played lots of sports with Blake, and my brother and I sang with them from time to time. Their son, Blake, has an awesome voice and Buddy (the Dad) can play some serious blues with both guitar and bass. To some degree the parents are ragid KJV only fundies but on issues like music and standards they are fairly normal. Having not spoken to the kids in years, I would suspect that they have all strayed in some degree or another from their funies roots since that process had begun long before in their teens. If you like bluegrass/southern gospel then their music is decent. Knowing the kids, I don’t think its fair to bash them for the expressions on their face. Remember they did this thing night in and night out and when you are that young it’s kinda tiring.

  19. Wow! Thank the good Lord for technology, otherwise there wouldn’t be a platform for strangers to make fun of me in a video from when I was 7-8 years old. Be thankful no one had you on camera every Sun-Fri of the mid 80’s…….

    No, I’m not an IFB anymore.
    No, I didn’t love traveling around and singing in a different place every week and never being at home.
    No, I wasn’t drugged, tho now I do have to self medicate every now and then when I have flashbacks.
    And no, I didn’t like the clothes I wore.

    I even wear pants and go to the movies sometimes now. πŸ™‚

    Did I miss anyone’s questions???

    – Smallest Chicken Fried Hair Girl

    1. Esther, I’m glad you and you brother stopped by.

      It’s good for all of us to be reminded that when we dig out these old videos from days gone by that the folks in them are nonetheless real people who are likely to find out we’re talking about them. πŸ™‚

      As an MK, I spent my fair share of time in front of churches too. I’m glad there’s not video of some of those debacles.

      1. “IÒ€ℒm glad thereÒ€ℒs not video of some of those debacles.” Are you sure? Don’t you think in the interest of fairness you should try to find one and post it here for us to enjoy? 😈

      2. The important thing to remember is that the reason many of us find Darrell’s pics, videos, and descriptions so funny is that many of us were the people in them.

        My family sang all the time, and thank the good Lord i don’t believe anyone thought to video it so it could be preserved forever. We have a couple audio recordings and that and the pictures are bad enough!!! We still all sing, all but maybe one of my siblings are very active in church music, ranging from traditional to contemporary, with a couple of us blended in the middle!

        @Esther and Blake – we are not laughing at you, we are laughing with you. And at us!

        1. “We’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you”. Is that kinda like gossiping at church under the guise of a “prayer request”? πŸ˜‰

  20. The mom’s mic is turned up way too high. Also, I think the video recording is a home camcorder that records on a videotape, and then later placed in digital format on computer. Thus the poor quality in video.

    1. That would indeed look like garbage! I have no idea how many times I’ve said that just because it displays or records colors/shapes & sounds, doesn’t make it good/usable.

  21. But Esther, gossiping under the guise of “Prayer Request” was the only reason I want to Charity on Thursday night! Nothing like watching a guy get up and confess to being addicted to porn!

  22. Well,thanks for the laugh everyone! I am one of the Chicken Fried Hair Girl’s featured in that video. Maybe we looked so “miserable” because we were in church Sunday – Friday EVERY NIGHT being “judged” on how we should look,or act. Hmmm…hasn’t changed much huh??? Anyway…glad we could give you guys a good laugh!

    PS…thanks to all of our friends who stuck up for us on here!!! You’re the best!!! πŸ˜€

  23. I also am one of the Chicken Fried Hair girls in this video. You know it’s really funny how so many people leave the IFB because of the judgmentalism. What do you call all these comments? Like one of the previous writers said you are commenting about “real” people here and this kind of stuff is what turns people off to Christianity. Thanks to all our friends positive posts here, I miss seeing you guys!

    1. Dawn, I hope you noticed that most of the comments were positive, or at least sympathetic, and especially those from people who knew you and your family.
      I’m sorry I made the “chicken-fried hairdos” comment. If it’s any consolation, almost any hairstyle looks funny a few decades later.

      And I still think it’s weird (and frightening) how the congregation looked like they were trying to chuck books at you.

      1. Gary,

        I don’t know that people’s “sympathy” I would consider “positive”. I don’t want or NEED anyone’s sympathy. The comments about the styles of the day do not bother me at all. It’s the assumptions that people are making about how we felt about what we were doing, about our parents, how abused we were, and what must have happened to us now. I really don’t get what this website it supposed to be all about. Some people must have too much time on their hands to create a website to make fun of people who are “different” than they are, and make fun of people they don’t even know. The guy who started this thing needs to get out more, get over it, and GET A LIFE! By the way, thanks for the apology about the hair comment, but it wasn’t really necessary. Like I said, we laugh at ourselves.

        1. I’m sorry Darrel. After I left that comment last night I thought “I should not have said that…. I don’t even know him”. Here I am judging this guy, when I don’t have the right. Again, I apologize, it was wrong of me. I know you’re just being facetious with that comment, but I was wrong anyway.

      2. Oh, and about them looking like they’re going to “chuck” books at us…. it must be the angle that you’re seeing it from. It wasn’t “frightening” at all. They were having a good time waving their Bibles at church!

        1. Dawn,
          I was a little taken aback when I saw this video. It hit close to home. I know your family gave up a lot to sing. Just remember this is a humor site and anyone from anywhere can say anything. If you notice Darrell (the moderator) just puts it out there and leaves the comments go where they go. It’s a humor site and it does seem a little harsh to pick a video off the internet and use it as a non bible illustration but they learned from the best. Laugh and enjoy life.

        2. John,

          Thank you for clarifying what this site is all about. Cause I wasn’t really sure from what I have seen and read so far.

    2. HI Dawn – I was a fan from the jump! You guys sounded great. I love family harmony and singing like this. Your Dad seems like he could be quite a character with that big ol sly grin.

      God Bles You, and keep on singing!

  24. Hey I’m not sure if people are bored or just have nothing better but why dont you quit talking about my family and piss off. This webpage is very christian of everyone.

  25. To the administrator: thank you for taking the video down, I would hate for you to feel guilty for hurting so many eardrums, mine included. πŸ™‚ To everyone else who think you know us, including a certain “pastor’s wife”, please leave us alone. I would really appreciate it, as would most of my family, if you would show some true christianity and stop using this page as your own personal gossip site. I admit it is very humorous to see someone’s family sing and dress like that, comb-overs were not my favorite hairdo either. And the dresses…I’ll leave the dresses alone. πŸ˜› But please do me and my family a favor and keep your mouths shut about what you think our personal lives are/were like, that’s not your business at all.

    “Pastor’s Wife” in particular, yes we were raised around the gospel, not just around a traditional religion that used just parts of the bible, just in case you were wondering. I don’t care if your husband is a pastor or not, you say that your greatest desire is that people would follow Christ, right? If that’s true, do you think Jesus would get on this blog and make fun of someone he didn’t know because he thought they looked weird? Do you think he would say half of the crap everyone is saying about us on this site? Well, I can probably give you a big “no” as the answer. I’d appreciate if you actually tried to be an example to everyone else and stop speculating…I don’t mean to sound mean or rude or anything but almost everything else I’ve read on this site has been just as much if not more rude than I’m being right now.

    Again I would like to ask all of you to leave my family alone. We’ve been through enough without some self-proclaimed “christians” adding insult to injury. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  26. Dude. Again. People would be happy to leave you alone if your family DIDN’T KEEP COMMENTING HERE.

    We moved on from this post months ago. The only reason why anybody is reading it now is that you insist on bringing it back to everyone’s mind.

  27. Hey Darrell, I can freaking read when everyone stopped posting on this site. Would you yell at them if they decided to post something again a couple months from now? I don’t think it would be very fair to be ok with them making their smart comments at the same time telling me I can’t say anything. That’s a little dumb don’t you think? I’m really not trying to be rude, not saying I can’t, I’m simply giving my input. I’m not trying to start a fight, I can go overseas and do that any time I want to.

  28. My frustration stems from the fact that what you’re doing in reviving an old post in order to insist that nobody continue commenting on it is both counter-intuitive and more than a little silly.

    You can feel free to say whatever you want but if your goal is to make everyone stop noticing or talking about your family then by reviving an old post in an attempt to achieve that end your purpose is inherently self-defeating.

    I’m not sure if I can explain it any better than that.

    1. Not to keep reviving an old post (haha) But neither of my brothers James or John are in the video to begin with, it’s the rest of us that should be embarrassed as hell haha!! And we are, and we have some interesting stories to tell about our childhood.

  29. You’ve explained everything so beautifully, thank you. I had no idea what I was thinking or what my goal was in saying what I said. You’re a life saver bro. I’m so very sorry that I frustrated you, I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings too badly. If it’ll make you the slightest bit happy, I’ll just stop posting on this blog, I don’t want to seem annoying or anything. Have a great day and go blow yourself.

    1. Was this post written in the spirit of “true Christianity”?

      And I’d like you to explain to us “dumb” people how you can “blow yourself”. Last I knew that was anatomically impossible. πŸ˜‰

      Your OVERreaction to Pastor’s Wife is pathetic. Did she hit a sore spot?

      1. Answer 1: no it wasn’t, according to most people. Almost none of the things Jesus said back then were “approved” by the religious community of the day, some even super offensive. Go ahead and throw that stone, it won’t hurt, made me laugh actually.

        Answer 2: if Marilyn Manson can do it, anyone can.

        Answer 3: she had no right to say anything she said about my family. It kinda reminded me of the pharisee praying in the temple next to the publican. Everything good to say about himself and nothing good to say about the publican.

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