Friday, February 26, 2016

Phil. 3:17 Portrait - Remembering Jimmie Dodd (1910-1964)

Philipians 3:17 - Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

My apologies for any confusion that may come from the first sentence; this blog article was originally supposed to be posted the first week of October in 2015.
Jimmie Dodd, c. 1955. Photo from non-commercial use source

Saturday, October 3rd was the 60th anniversary of the premiere of the original Mickey Mouse Club on ABC-TV back in 1955.  While the famous opening song declared the mouse as the leader of the club, there is almost no doubt the real leader was singer, songwriter Jimmie Dodd. Watching re-runs of the Mickey Mouse Club late at night on the Disney Channel, I was struck at episodes in which Dodd referenced scriptures from the Bible as he spoke directly to audiences while strumming his guitar.

After several decades it is still not generally known that Dodd and his wife Ruth were born-again Christians and that he served as president of the Hollywood Christian Group in 1958 and 1959.  The Hollywood Christian Group was a collection of movie stars who embraced the Gospel during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s which included celebrities like Roy Rogers, Dale Evans Rogers, and Jane Russell. The closest the Walt Disney Company probably ever came to releasing a Gospel album was the 1957 album "Mouskehymns"  and a 1966 gospel album with songs written or arranged by Dodd.

A few years before he passed, Dodd completed the album Children's Bible Story-Time : Jimmie Dodd for Word Records Incorporated of Waco, Texas.  This album is Jimmie at his best; his narrative voice and easy guitar playing.

A few years ago I included an excerpt of this album for my first digital project on Bible storytelling media.  Click HERE to here Dodd tell "The Parable of the Sower and the Seed"

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