A HARD FALL
On the 13th of April, I had a hard fall down some steps and cannot write as I injured my right arm and shoulder, therefore, I have borrowed a story sent to me over a year ago by a very good friend. I hope you enjoy it.
“IT IS NO SECRET”
Back in the 50’s, there was a well-known radio host/comedian/songwriter in Hollywood named Stuart Hamblen who was noted for his drinking, womanizing, partying, etc. One of his bigger hits at the time had a phrase which said: “I won’t go hunting with you Jake, but I’ll go chasing women”.
Hamblin had him on his show to poke fun at him
One day, along came a young preacher holding a tent revival. Hamblen had him on his radio show presumably to poke fun at him. In order to gather more material for his show, Hamblen showed up at one of the revival meetings. Early in the service, the preacher announced: “There is one man in this audience who is a big fake”. There were probably others who thought the same thing, but Hamblen was convinced he was the one the preacher was talking about (some would call that conviction) but he was having none of that.
The words haunted him
Still, the words continued to haunt him until a couple of nights later he showed up drunk at the preacher’s hotel door around 2:00 a.m. demanding that the preacher pray for him! The preacher refused, saying, “This is between you and God and I’m not going to get in the middle of it”. He did invite Stuart in and they talked until about 5:00 a.m. at which point Stuart and with tears, cried out to God. However, this is not the end of the story. Stuart quit drinking, quit chasing women, quit everything that was “fun”. Soon he began to lose favor with the Hollywood crowd. He was ultimately fired by the radio station when he refused to accept a beer company as a sponsor. Hard times were upon him. He tried writing a couple of “Christian” songs but the only one that had much success was “This Old House” written for his friend Rosemary Clooney.
Was it worth it?
As he continued to struggle a long time friend named John took him aside and told him “All your troubles started when you got religion, was it worth it all?”
Stuart answered simply “Yes”. Then his friend asked, “You like your booze so much, don’t you ever miss it?” And his answer was, “NO”. John then said, “I don’t understand how you could give it up so easily”. And Stuart’s response was “It’s no big secret. All things are possible with God”. To this John said, “That’s a catchy phrase. You should write a song about it”. As they say, “The rest is history”.
It’s no secret
The song Stuart Hamblen wrote was “It Is No Secret”. The beginning words go like this: “It is no secret what God can do. What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you. With arms wide open, He’ll welcome you. It is no secret, what God can do…” By the way… the friend was John Wayne and the young preacher who refused to pray for Stuart Hamblen? That was Billy Graham
More music by Stuart Hamblen
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Tapestry of Love Historical Series 2nd edition 2015 –
Court records dating back to the 1630s create historical accuracy as the reader is taken back to the primitive days of colonial Virginia and Maryland where the Pattendens encounter life-changing difficulties with Indians, ducking stools, illness, massacres, death, loneliness, love, and greed.