Daniel Keeton / An American Tenor
After a childhood of abuse I moved into grandma’s house. Grandma's living room was small and full of interesting collections. One was her collections was of Gospel music cassettes. A box that was chocked full of curiously unknown singers that I had never heard of. The Happy Goodman Family? Interesting. "They're reinforcing the stage", said the man, as the hammer banged on the stage. "We're in four automobiles and a pickup truck", one of them said. Then the lady said, "if your not a child of God, you can become one, while you sit here and listen to this". What? I'm not bound to be an alcoholic? I'm not going to prison or be someone destined to be a murderer or a child molester? Really? All those things I'd been told I was going to do or be, because of being physically, mentally and emotionally abused as a child, was NOT TRUE? I can be a child of God if I just ask?
So, when the preacher set the tent up across the street from Grandma's house and began playing some of the same music on those cassettes, I was hooked. I was going to be a Gospel Singer, just like the Happy Goodman Family! Though, we were as poor as you can get, we had everything a child could want. We moved into an old farmhouse out in the country, next to an old tobacco barn. One day, I was searching for something to do. I found some tobacco sticks and some twine that they use to tie the tobacco leaves to the sticks to hang in the barn to dry. I took four sticks and made four microphone stands. I took the twine, that were cut into pieces about two feet long and tied them together to make microphone cords. I took two large cardboard boxes and made speakers. I then cut a long stick into four shorter sticks for microphones. There I was, the kid in the field next to the old farmhouse, singing to the top of his lungs. I didn't care who saw me. I didn't care who heard me (I'm sure the cows across the street enjoyed it). I had my Father, I had my Mother, I had my Brother, and I had my sound system, complete with stands. From that afternoon until dark, I WAS THE HAPPY GOODMAN FAMILY!
That was 38 years ago. Wow! Today I'm looking back on a wild ride that has taken me to as far as Paris, France. I’ve been to the very top of the Gospel music success ladder. I've been given the wonderful opportunity to stand on stage with some of my greatest heroes; Brock and Fay Speer, Ronnie and Eric Hinson, Ed O'Neal, Bill Gaither, and Tim Riley. God has been good to Dan Keeton.
God has, many times, encouraged me to build a tobacco stick microphone and stand. I gathered a pile of tobacco sticks several years ago and laid them in the garage. That's where they have been for years. I was looking for something in the garage and God said, "Hey Dan, look at that pile of tobacco sticks. Wonder what you could use them for". That's when I knew. So, after a few hours, I had a tobacco stick microphone. That's right! A complete working microphone. You should come and experience something you’ve never experienced. You might not remember my name or what I said or sung. But, you’ll remember the guy that sang on a "STICK".