Mama said I was born early one cold morning about 6 am in November of 1962. I had a good childhood hanging out with my dad and my grandpa. My grandpa was always doing something interesting like killing a hog, baling hay, or grinding cornmeal on Saturdays for folks. He would let me sack up the cornmeal and run the corn sheller when I was about 5. He loved trading mules and cows, milking his cow, or planting a garden. He also shoed horses and mules and was the veterinarian in those parts.
I spent every single second I could with him right up until he died. I was about 40 when he passed away. I think he is whom I get my thick southern accent from. I remember sitting in his lap as a young boy with him holding his gold pocket watch up to my ear so I could hear it tick. The only times he ever got on to me was because I would catch frogs and put them in my pocket. He didn’t like that too well.
He could play guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo. Front porch picking was every Saturday night if it was warm, but if it was cold it was in the front room of his old house. His brothers, friends, and family were always there. We all loved one other and I would sing sometimes when they would let me, but they kept a pretty good eye on me because I liked running my fingers across their guitar strings when they weren’t looking. Boy don’t touch that guitar or you’ll knock it out of tune. Many times, I heard that growing up. I said to myself, I’m going to show them when I grow up. I’ll get me a guitar.
I had an Aunt Patsy I would go to church with. I always got a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum for being quiet. I was 5 or 6 and very small for my age. They were singing Jesus loves me in Sunday School one morning and I was singing “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain,” a song I would sing at my Grandpas on Saturday nights. I didn’t know “Jesus Loves Me” so I sang what I knew. The Sunday School teacher got with my Aunt Patsy and they sat me on top of an upright piano in front of the entire congregation and I sang to them “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” It was my very first audience, then I would sing at the PTA meetings in Elementary school, some plays, and outdoor sing-alongs with Tommy Moody and his brothers.
I started playing saxophone in the 5th grade up until I was in high school, then I started playing guitar when I was 17. I started making up funny songs for laughs around 18, then about the age of 23, I started writing jingles for a local TV station in Toccoa Georgia. They would use me because of the thick accent I had on certain commercials.
At 24 I had an experience with Jesus Christ and started singing in churches. Then I was on every Sunday morning for a while with Roy Knight and the Roy Knight singers at a Greenville TV station that covered the southeast. At the same time, I had a few songs on WCON a local radio station here in Georgia.
I did well for about 7 years singing for Jesus and I loved it. Then about the age of 30, I decided I wanted to sing country music because my voice was so country, so I went to Nashville. I sang up there for a while, but it seemed I lost the feeling that was coming from my soul.
After about 5 years of writing country songs, I saw that I was getting nowhere. I was still going to church but lost all interest in singing. I would still sing in church if they ask me though. I would sing something simple just to get me thru the service.
Then around May 2018, I was in a prayer meeting that a friend invited me to in Dalton, Georgia and something happened to me that changed my life. I looked back at all the years I had wasted when I could have been using this God-given talent.
Psalms is the biggest book in the Bible so I know God really loves music, so I decided last May I was going to do everything in my power to sing for Jesus until he takes me home.
I took some songs I had written with a good friend of mine, Dennis Shedd which is a phenomenal guitar player, and some songs I wrote myself up to Nashville. I was ready to do some recording.
Walked into Ocean Way Studio on Music Row where many great singers have recorded. I recorded 16 songs of which 14 were originals and two that Buddy Hyatt has written. I did a music video for the song “Sound of Thunder.” I’m getting ready to start another video and planning on doing another CD in a couple of months.
It takes Joy and Pain in a man’s life to write a song and I’ve experienced both.
Danny L Thomas