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Blind Boys of Alabama

Standing ovation goes to The Blind Boys of Alabama

The Blind Boys of Alabama erupts MemAud with energetic show. 

It was impossible to not tap a foot and clap along to The Blind Boys of Alabama’s performance at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium Saturday night.

The show started off with the crowd cheering when Jimmy Carter, the lead member, responding with, “That is what we call a good welcome.”

The Blind Boys of Alabama are a gospel-based group that have performed since 1939, when the original members formed at the Alabama Institute for Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega.

Carter had a mission he said he hoped to, “Say something, sing something, and lift (the audience) up.” His short speech had the audience yelling “amen” coming from all areas of MemAud.

“I have been waiting years to see them in person,” Mary Ann Rosser, a Chauncey, Ohio resident, said. “I was so enthralled by the music and you can tell it’s all genuine.”

Multiple members of the band were so pleased with the audience’s reaction, they started dancing along to the music. Carter jumped and spun around in mid-air, gathering a large response from the audience by clapping louder.

Toward the end of the group’s set, Carter asked the audience if it was OK to come down into the crowd. The response was more than positive.

He was led down to the crowd by Willie "Chuck" Shivers, the group’s tour manager, where he walked all around the auditorium shaking people’s hands. One member of the audience even hugged Carter.

Carter kept letting go of Silvers’ hand to walk around the audience who was giving the band a standing ovation.

“I thought it was awesome,” Jim Mosher, a political science professor at Ohio University, said. “I loved the energy and the rhythms. I loved how they interacted with the crowd.”

At the end of the set, the band finished off by all standing and swinging back and forth to the beat. Everyone in the crowd was also on their feet swaying to the music. The Blind Boys even started to jump, making everyone laugh and cheer.

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After what was thought to be the end, the Blind Boys came back out on stage and did an encore. They chose to do a Christmas song, chosen by Carter after he said he was stuck between two songs. Some members of the crowd shouted about how they wanted them to do both songs, or even more.

The Blind Boys of Alabama received a standing ovation from the crowd when they finished their set. As the band walked off stage, the entire auditorium erupted with more cheers.

“It was a great audience,” Carter said. “They were very responsive and we love that.”

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