Friday, October 4, 2019

Interview With Jack Armstrong | Southern Gospel Gazette

We had the pleasure of getting to meet Jack Armstrong at The Memphis Quartet Show a couple of years ago through a mutual friend.
Jack sings with the Bibletones, Mississippi's oldest quartet. It's always fun getting to see Jack at different SG events several times throughout the year and since I know y'all are just as excited as I was to learn a little bit more about this talented singer. Lets get started!

Mercy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jack: My name is Jack Armstrong and I am the owner of Mississippi’s oldest quartet - The Bibletones. I am also an auctioneer, and a Deputy Sheriff with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.  We have been represented by Hey Y’all Media for the last two years and in October of last year I married the owner - Vonda Armstrong. We live in Ellisville, MS.  Vonda says it was cheaper for me to marry her than pay for radio promotions, but she and I disagree on that.

Mercy: When did you get saved?
Jack: I was fortunate to have been raised in a Christian home in Morton, MS.
I was saved at the age of 12 years old.  Like my friend Jeff Steele says, when I was young I had a drug problem. My mother drug me to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
I am also fortunate to still have both my parents.  My dad is 89 years old and my mom is 82.

Mercy: If you didn't become a singer, what would you be doing right now?
Jack:  I stated earlier I am an auctioneer and a deputy sheriff.  When I was in college I took a part time job at a car auction as a driver. I got fascinated with they guy sitting on that stand talking fast. I wound up going to auctioneering school in High Point North Carolina and have been doing it ever since.
I always enjoy helping people and law enforcement helps me do that. I am fortunate to work for a great Christian man - Sheriff Alex Hodge who allows me to work part time when I can with my busy schedule.

Mercy: Who is someone that has influenced your singing?
Jack: Vaughn Thacker hired me in the late eighties to sing with his group The Delta Boys. Vaughn shut the group down and started back singing with the Bibletones.
Howard Rutland allowed me to sing and travel with them for a while and while doing that we got to work with The Florida Boys a lot.
Les Beasley and Glen Alred were two people that influenced me greatly.

Mercy: What is your favorite song to sing and why?
Jack: The Bibletones have been singing since 1957.  Two years ago we recorded a 60 year anniversary project. We have had over 80 members come through over the years (some of which were great songwriters) so we put some on that project.
A song on that project is one of my favorites that we sing it is called That’s Why His Grace is Amazing. Dianne McVey wrote the song and the group recorded it in the mid eighties.
Dianne is from Gautier MS. Her husband was a preacher and she played the piano at church every Sunday. She lost her husband to cancer and told her children she did not want to write again. She found us online singing her song and found out that it had made the top 40 on the Singing News chart, and it gave her a little push to want to write again.
That is how God works.  He used her on words that she had written years ago, to speak to her years later when she needed it most. That’s why His grace is amazing!!!

Jack & his wife Vonda

Mercy: What advice would you give a young person hoping to someday sing Southern Gospel?
Jack: I would tell them if they are being called by God to sing, answer that call and also be patient. I have learned by personal experience that it is a difference between your time and God's time. God has this all figured out just be patient and stay in the center of his will.

Mercy: What is your favorite and least favorite part of traveling?
Jack:  I am no different than anyone else-- when you are on the road you miss being home, that would be my least favorite part of traveling.
The favorite part of traveling for me is getting to meet people. We have been singing for 62 years now and we could not have done that without the support of people coming to hear us sing and by the grace of God.

Mercy: If you could meet anyone in the past or present, who would it be?
Jack: If I could meet anyone it would have been Elvis Presley. Elvis was my cousin, my Grandmother was a Presley. I would have loved to meet him.
We sing at The Memphis Quartet Show every year and I try to go to Graceland when I can. The only bad thing is I don’t get a family discount on admission.

Mercy: What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?
Jack: The most embarrassing thing that has happened to me on stage took place back in the late eighties in Wiggins MS. We were singing with Gold City that night and our steele guitar player David Hawkins decided to play a joke on Mark Lanier and myself. He brought this new “hair product"  on the bus that turned out to be some kind of grease. He succeeded in getting both of us to try his product. I have black hair and you can just imagine what it looked like with that grease in it. I tried to wash it out with shampoo later and that would not work. LD Warren was playing bass for us then and his wife had a beauty shop. She carried Mark and I out to her shop and washed our hair with Tide laundry detergent and it broke my scalp out.  I was not a happy camper.  We did have an opportunity to return the favor to him on a later date and I enjoyed doing that.

Mercy: What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Jack: John 3:16 is hard to beat. Triumphant has a song out now that says it best Even Me. God loves ME enough with all my sin and all my short comings to send his son to die on a cruel rugged cross for Even ME. He would have done it if I was the only person on this earth he loves us that much.

Mercy: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Jack: Thanks for the interview. I would like to invite your readers to keep up with us on our website and also our FB page.
I would also encourage your readers to support gospel music when it is in your area.  

1 comment:

  1. I love, love, love this gentleman, Jack Armstrong. He means a lot to me.