A Christmas Gift To Our Readers: The George W. Truett Megamix 1941!

A festive George W. Truett. Adapted from an original photo held by The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

As our gift to you, our loyal readers, we created this mashup of some of the greatest clips from the George W. Truett Collection’s sermons from 1941, condensed for you into one 3:00 MP3. We hope you enjoy the message, and we look forward to 2014 and another year of providing you with great digital content!

 

 

This Train is Bound for D.C.: The Smithsonian-Baylor Digital Projects Group Black Gospel Collaboration Confirmed!

 

Our thoughts on today’s news, as captured by this album from The Trumpets of Jericho.

Some big news regarding the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project was made official this weekend via the social media of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC): the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP), managed and maintained by our own Digital Projects Group, will become part of the permanent collection when the museum opens its doors in 2015!

According to the story from the NMAAHC’s Tumblr, we will contribute highlights from the collection for incorporation into an exhibition called the Musical Crossroads. From the Tumblr:

This permanent exhibition will tell the story of African American music from the arrival of the first Africans to the present day.

Both [NMAAHC curator Dr. Dwandalyn] Reece and [Baylor journalism professor Robert] Darden see these recordings as important additions to the new museum for the stories they can help tell. While planning for the exhibition is ongoing, the Baylor recordings may be used to explore the importance of gospel music to the civil rights movement.

Featuring select recordings from Baylor’s growing digital collection in the Smithsonian will give visitors an opportunity to learn these stories and to listen to many gospel recordings that may otherwise have been lost to history.

Dr. Reece also pointed out the ways is in which materials from the BGMRP can help us better understand the impact of black gospel music at a regional level:

The recordings may also be used to highlight the regional diversity of early gospel music. “Not all gospel recordings made during the pinnacle of gospel’s popularity were made on major labels,” Reece explained. “Many were done in connection with local churches and there are differences in style based on where these types of recordings were made.”

The collaboration announcement post, via the NMAAHC’s Tumblr page.

The project was sparked in 2005 by an op-ed piece written by Prof. Darden for the February 15 edition. In it, he bemoaned the loss of America’s recorded collections of black gospel music. That appeal generated a lead gift from collector Charles M. Royce that funded equipment and the first audiovisual specialist, Tony Tadey. From there, Prof. Darden’s tireless promotion combined with the technological and information handling mastery of the DPG to create a collection of more than 8,000 digitized tracks, 1,200 of which are available online with more added regularly. (For more on the history of the project, please visit the project website.)

We are obviously quite excited to be partnering with an institution with such an august reputation and world-wide name recognition as the Smithsonian Institution, and we look forward to working closely with Dr. Reece and her team at the NMAAHC in the coming months.

The Digital Projects Group is a part of the Electronic Library, a special collection within the Baylor University Libraries. DPG staff involved with the BGMRP are Assistant Director for Digital Projects Group, Darryl Stuhr; Audiovisual Specialist, Stephen Bolech; Digital Collections Curator, Eric Ames; and Digitization Coordinator, Allyson Riley.

For More Information

Read the NMAAHC’s Tumblr post

Read our previous blog post about the partnership

Visit the BGMRP homepage

View the BGMRP collection via the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections

Visit the NMAAHC website

Email us at digitalcollectionsinfo[at]baylor.edu

Project Update: The George W. Truett Sermons Collection Hits Milestone

Portrait of George W. Truett from the George W. Truett Theological Seminary on the campus of Baylor University.

After a year of devoted attention from myself and Audiovisual Specialist Stephen Bolech, we’re excited to provide an update on the George W. Truett Sermons Collection: all of Dr. Truett’s extant sermons from 1941 have been digitized, transcribed and added to the collection! The 36 sermons from 1941 include 31 Sunday services (or 60% of the Sunday messages delivered that year) and 5 special services – two Saturdays, two Mondays and a Tuesday.

This phase of the project represents the largest chunk of material delivered to us by colleagues at The Texas Collection in late 2011. The boxes of 16″ discs were organized, cleaned, migrated from analog to digital and transcribed by the team at the Digital Projects Group with the goal of getting all the 1941 materials online by the end of 2013. Now, we’ll begin work on the 17 remaining sermons from 1942, the penultimate full year of Truett’s life.

Highlights from 1941

The sermons of 1941 represent what I’ve taken to calling a “Farewell Tour” of Truett’s favorite topics. Looking into publications that contain his sermons from earlier in his ministry, it’s easy to spot some of the major themes – and, at times, outright verbatim copying – Truett spent a lifetime in ministry pursuing. It brings to mind the old joke about the new preacher who gave a rollicking sermon on his first Sunday in the pulpit, then proceeded to repeat it verbatim for the next six Sundays. Finally, one of his parishoners asked him, “Preacher, why do you keep repeating yourself every week?” And the preaching replied, “I’ll keep on repeating my message until you people start living it.”

It’s understandable that a man in his mid-70s would begin to look back over a storied career spent in ministry and giving his congregation at First Baptist Church of Dallas one last chance to hear his most cherished messages. And for a man in his sunset years struggling with illness and beset by worries of the then-approaching Second World War, Truett sounds remarkably powerful in these recordings. At times, his voice will crack, he will appear to lose the word he’s looking for, but it’s no more obvious than when a similar situation is encountered by a much younger speaker.

A few of the highlights from the 1941 sermons include:

  • A sermon ([“Go and Do Thou Likewise”] – September 28, 1941) wherein Truett outlines the one instance in Scripture that Jesus commands his audience to follow the example of a mortal human being.
  • A sermon on the myriad ways in which people neglect various aspects of their life ([The Tragedy of Neglect] – March 30, 1941) that opens with an announcement from the pulpit that someone in the audience – the recording, unfortunately, begins after the name has been read – must go to the church office immediately to take an important phone call. At the end of the message, Truett informs the congregation that the man had to take the call to learn the circumstances of a loved one’s death.
  • The message regarding the applicability of Jesus’ words and ministry to all people ([Jesus Is Everybody’s Preacher] – December 7, 1941) delivered on December 7, a date that would later become known as Pearl Harbor Day. Truett and his congregation had not received word of the attack when this message was being delivered, so no mention is made of it aside from general warnings about the world condition and the darkness of war that gripped much of the countries on Earth.
  • The Sunday following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Truett’s message ([“The Lord Reigneth”] – December 14, 1941) hits notes that will resonate with all who have lived through national disasters and trying circumstances, from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. It also includes Truett’s only outright political discourse on the year: an extended railing against the United States’ decision not to join the League of Nations following the First World War.

There are, of course, many more reasons to check out the sermons below. For example, in the message from July 20 ([The Power of Sympathy] – July 20, 1941), Truett delivers what is the closest thing to a joke as can be found in the collection to date. To wit:

The world is wanting love. No wonder, therefore, that David prayed to God, “Enlarge my heart.” He didn’t pray, “Enlarge my head.” Our heads, often, are too big, often too large.

Jerry Seinfeld he’s not, but the brief glimmer of humor is a refreshing change from the typically straightforward – and often “fire, brimstone and damnation” – style the pervades these messages.

A surprising leitmotif that emerges is Truett’s love of poetry. This harkens back to his history as a teacher and lover of education, and whether he is reciting the numerous poems he peppers into his speeches by memory or is reading them from prepared notes is unclear. What is clear is his love of the art, as evidenced by this reading of a poem entitled The Hidden Line (The Destiny of Men) by Rev. Joseph Addison Alexander. Click the play button below to listen!

 

 

Just a reminder: the sermons in this collection are keyword searchable now that they have been transcribed. Just head to the collection’s landing page and use the search box to search for your topic of interest.

We hope you’ll take some time to review these priceless messages, and we look forward to adding further sermons and collection enhancements over the coming months.

The 1941 Sermons of George W. Truett

[Hidden Reinforcements] – Sermon Segment, January 19, 1941
[God’s Will Be Done] – February 9, 1941
[Heaven – The Land and Life Beyond] – February 16, 1941
[“And As Thy Days, So Shall Thy Strength Be”] – March 2, 1941
[God’s Method For Winning People] – March 8, 1941 (Saturday)
[Philip at Samaria] – March 16, 1941
[The Care of Souls] – March 23, 1941
[The Tragedy of Neglect] – March 30, 1941
[Prayer and Personal Witness for Christ] – March 31, 1941 (Monday)
[Duty] – April 6, 1941
[“Have Faith in God”] – April 7, 1941 (Monday)
[“What Think Ye of God?”] – April 8, 1941 (Tuesday)
[Encouragement] – April 27, 1941
[The Cause and Cure for Discouragement] – May 4, 1941
[The Shunammite Woman] – May 11, 1941
[“I Am Ready”] – June 1, 1941
[Trust in God] – June 15, 1941
[The Gifts of God] – June 22, 1941
[“It Is Expedient For You That I Go Away”] – June 29, 1941
[The Chief Standard of Greatness] – July 6, 1941
[The Prayer Jesus Would Not Pray] – July 13, 1941
[The Power of Sympathy] – July 20, 1941
[Paul’s Message And Method As A Worker For Christ] – September 14, 1941
[Patience] – September 21, 1941
[“Go and Do Thou Likewise”] – September 28, 1941
[Enoch’s Walk With God] – October 5, 1941
[Unreserved Dedication to Christ’s Cause] – October 11, 1941 (Saturday)
[God Asks For Our Best] – Sermon Segment, October 26, 1941
[Stewardship] – November 2, 1941
[“Despise Ye The Church Of God?”] – Sermon Segment, November 9, 1941
[Value, Cost And Sacrifice] – November 16, 1941
[Ingratitude: The Commonest Sin] – November 23, 1941
[“Go Bravely On – I Will Not Fail Thee”] – November 30, 1941
[Jesus Is Everybody’s Preacher] – December 7, 1941
[“The Lord Reigneth”] – December 14, 1941
[The Song That Heralds Jesus’ Birth] – December 21, 1941

Memories of Floyd Casey Stadium, Courtesy the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive and the Grant Teaff Collection

Special “Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium” graphic courtesy BaylorBears.com and Inside Baylor Sports Productions.

THIS SATURDAY marks a bittersweet moment for fans of Baylor football as we bid farewell to the program’s home for half a century. Floyd Casey Stadium – formerly Baylor Stadium – will host its final home game this Saturday as the Bears take on long-time in-state foe the University of Texas. It’s a big game with potentially program-changing implications: if Baylor wins and the University of Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State University, Baylor will be sole possessor of the Big XII conference title and gain an automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl, a BCS bowl game. But first we have to beat Texas in front of a sell-out crowd at “The Case” for the final time.

There are a number of great tributes to Floyd Casey Stadium out there on the web today, among them:

> A fantastic Flickr set of images documenting its past, courtesy The Texas Collection at Baylor University

> A “Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium” presentation from Inside Baylor Sports

As part of our work hosting the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive (BULAA), we wanted to add our own unique elements to the remembrances of Floyd Casey, so we added two new videos to the BULAA (pronounced “boo-luh,” if you’re wondering). You can view them as embedded YouTube videos below, or look for them on the BULAA homepage at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/33athletics.

The “Hex Tex” Pep Rally of 1983

Up first is some raw footage of the 1983 “Hex Tex” pep rally held at Floyd Casey on November 18, 1983. This footage was transferred from its original Umatic-S format video tape and is presented without digital manipulation, so it’s got some minor audio issues – you’ll want to turn up the volume to hear it well. But it accurately captures the moments of an early 1980s pep rally, complete with performances by Baylor yell leaders, song leaders, the Golden Wave Band and a line of twirlers.

In addition to these performances, the rally gave Coach Grant Teaff a chance to reflect on the 1983 season and to preview the next day’s game against UT at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. It also was a time to present the Mike Singletary award, which was given to wide receiver Gerald McNeil. The award, which was voted on by the entire student body, went to the diminutive wideout for his exceptional abilities on and off the field.

Finally, the rally was a chance for the team captain and co-captains to address the Baylor faithful and reflect on a season that would see the Bears play in the Bluebonnet Bowl against Oklahoma State University, a game which they would lose by a score of 24-14 but would be their second bowl game in four seasons. And though the Bears would lose the next day’s game at #2 UT in a squeaker, 24-21, the Bears’ enthusiasm and appreciation for their fans – as well as the rally’s setting at Floyd Casey Stadium – make this footage a fun addition to the celebrations around the stadium’s final game.

(NOTE: The audio quality on the original video is poor to fair, so you may need to adjust your volume accordingly.)

The Grant Teaff Show, Baylor vs. University of Texas, 1984

The next season’s meeting against UT would go much better for the Bears. In a disappointing season that would see them finish 5-6 (with a .500 record in the Southwest Conference at 4-4), the Bears were looking for a big win against the #6 Longhorns for their final home game of the season, and boy, did they get it. In front of one of the largest home audiences of the season, the Bears dismantled the ‘Horns 24-10 and gave their senior players a decidedly upbeat end to their playing days at Baylor.

This footage is the entire broadcast of “The Grant Teaff Show” from November 25, 1984, the day following the Bears’ win over UT. Produced by Greenhouse Media of Waco, the show features highlights, Coach Teaff’s analysis and lots of great footage of an impressive win on the turf at Floyd Casey Stadium.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this historic footage of two great memories from Floyd Casey Stadium. We’ll be adding more video to the BULAA in the coming days and weeks highlighting Baylor football in the Grant Teaff era, so check back soon!

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BONUS CONTENT During the process of creating the access files for these videos, I came across some awesome commercials for Baylor University and the Medical Center at Dallas. You can see several of them as part of our Baylor University Archives Collection, or view the 1982 Athletics Endowment commercial, added as part of the BULAA.

The Grant Teaff Collection of materials related to his time as coach at Baylor University is part of the collections at The Texas Collection.