This issue Andy Andrews interviews… Andy Andrews! He’s talked to himself for years. finally, he’s talking back.
ANDY ANDREWS: Well, I’m certainly excited to sit down with you for this conversation.
ANDY: Thanks! You generally do these interviews by phone, isn’t that right?
ANDY ANDREWS: Yes, but I know your number is unlisted and you are too slow on email. “In person” was the only way I thought we would really connect.
ANDY: Good. I appreciate you thinking of me. Homecoming Magazine is a particular favorite of mine.
ANDY ANDREWS: Excellent. I know the whole staff here is grateful for your loyalty. As for interviewing you, frankly, Guy Penrod, Ernie Haase and Ivan Parker were not available. Thanks for stepping in so I won’t miss my editor’s deadline.
ANDY: No problem. Fire away.
ANDY ANDREWS: If you didn’t write books or speak, what would you consider your dream career?
ANDY: I would be a member of the Gaither Vocal Band.
ANDY ANDREWS: Seriously? I didn’t know you could sing.
ANDY: You didn’t ask if I could sing. You asked what my dream job would be.
ANDY ANDREWS: OK then… can you sing?
ANDY: Right now, I don’t think that is a huge requirement for the job. Haven’t you heard? Wes hurt his back. Something was wrong with Michael’s neck. David has a cold and Mark broke his leg. Bill is the oldest guy in the group and he’s the only one walking around! I’ll betcha if I can carry a tune and do a passable “Mary Did You Know?” I’ll have that job before Gatlinburg!
ANDY ANDREWS: You seem to be a pretty funny guy.
ANDY: Well, thanks for noticing that. I do take a lot of pride in that aspect of what I do. I like to think I am a funny dad, too. I love to make my boys laugh.
ANDY ANDREWS: Were you the class clown in high school?
ANDY: Noooo. I was more the “class wit.” The class clown is the guy who runs naked across the football field during freezing weather in front of the whole school. I was the one who talked him into doing it!
ANDY ANDREWS: Do you ever see those tendencies in your own boys?
ANDY: Yes, and my wife is not always thrilled they have apparently inherited their dad’s attraction to the snappy remark. She loved school and was popular. Therefore, Polly tends to frown upon the uncontrollable instinct that urges me (and our boys) —“Go ahead… say it. What’s the worst that can happen?”
ANDY ANDREWS: I might side with your wife on this one.
ANDY: You always have. That’s a part of you I’m not fond of…
ANDY ANDREWS: Live with it.
ANDY: I always do.
ANDY ANDREWS: By the way, when you blurt out whatever is on your mind — as you are often prone to do — what is the worst that can happen?
ANDY: Nowadays, I suppose the worst that can happen, personally, is extreme disapproval and a lecture from my wife about inappropriate behavior. That’s kind of the adult version of a paddling in the principal’s office. Professionally, one can say the wrong thing and be ostracized.
ANDY ANDREWS: Give me an example…
ANDY: OK … once, on a cruise to Alaska, I was onstage with Bill and said that I thought the Baptist Hymnal should move “Holy, Holy, Holy” to later in the book. They should, I said, begin with one of Bill’s songs. I suggested the classic “Fill My Cup, Lord.”
ANDY ANDREWS: Why would you have been ostracized for that?
ANDY: Bill didn’t write that one.
ANDY ANDREWS: Oooooh…
ANDY: Yeah. The man and his wife write millions of songs and I pick the ONE that wasn’t theirs.
ANDY ANDREWS: That’s tough. So you were ostracized?
ANDY: Yes. I am telling you, even Jimmy, the banjo player for the Isaacs, avoided me after that.
ANDY ANDREWS: Should you mention Jimmy in that light? I know that most of the time you two are buddies. Aren’t you concerned he might see this in the magazine?
ANDY: Noooo … Jimmy’s a banjo player. He can’t read.
ANDY ANDREWS: He is talented, though.
ANDY: Yes, he is. Songwriting is his gift. The banjo is a sideline, but one he does well. Not every musician can pull it off, but Jimmy can. You know what “perfect pitch” with a banjo is?
ANDY ANDREWS: What?
ANDY: When you throw the banjo in a dumpster and it lands on an accordion!
ANDY ANDREWS: Say goodbye, Andy.
ANDY: Goodbye, Andy.