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What A Difference You Made In My Life

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2022 3:00 am

What A Difference You Made In My Life

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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March 19, 2022 3:00 am

Award-winning songwriter and two-time Grammy Nominee Archie Jordan called the show to discuss caregiving, music, his long friendship with BJ Thomas, and many more things in this special interview. 

Some of the many hits from Archie include, What a Difference You Made In My Life, It Was Almost Like A Song, He's The Hand on My Shoulder, You Gave Me Love When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer ...and many more.

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Now I've joined in the singing, cause you've shown me love's true meaning.

That's why I want to spread the news. What a difference you've made in my life. What a difference you've made in my life. And I have the writer of that song on the phone with me today. His name is Archie Jordan. And Archie and I have been friends for many, many, many years. And I'm just grateful to know him. And I grew up playing his music. I literally learned how to play the piano, a lot of it, using his music. And it is such a treat to have him here. He's an award-winning singer-songwriter, two-time Grammy Award nominee. And he has written a host of songs that have served as a soundtrack for the lives of a lot of folks. He also understands the caregiving journey. And so I wanted to have him come on the show today and talk a little bit about some things in his life, things he's learned through the process, and some insights he has for songwriters and music and all kinds of things. So Archie, welcome to the program. Oh, it's great to be with you, Peter. Well, listen, Archie, when you hear those kinds of songs that you have done on this and you hear them come back like that, is it always fresh for you every time you hear it?

I mean, you wrote that song. When did you write What a Difference You Made in My Life? 72? No, it was later than that. It was about 76 or 77, I believe. Almost 45 years ago. And it's still being played.

People still know it. And how does that make you feel as a songwriter? I tell you, I'm just so grateful that people still like some of these songs and radio stations still play them and I hear them in churches and different places I go. And it's just an honor, a real honor that people still like them.

And I'm so grateful and very fortunate to have had these things happen for me. Well, you know, that became a signature song for both Ronnie Millsap and B.J. Thomas. And you went on to produce two of B.J. 's records, at least two of them, right?

That's right. Yeah, produced two albums. We lost B.J.

last year. And I know that you guys stayed in touch and were close and you were able to talk to he and his wife as it got to the end there. And what a great loss. A tremendous voice. I don't think there's ever been or ever will be a voice like B.J.

Thomas's. And I know it must have been a real treat to produce those records with him. Oh, it was, man. He was one of my most favorite singers in the world. And, you know, I used to listen to him when I was in high school and I remember going to the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia.

And I was living over in Aiken, South Carolina. And B.J. was on the show and it's the first time I'd ever seen him live. And he just blew my mind. He just has such an incredible voice.

And I never dreamed, you know, at that point when I was in high school that I'd get to work with him one day and he recorded many of my songs, especially the gospel things. And he called me when he started getting sick, you know, and he said, I just want you to know what's going on. And he was going to that big hospital in Texas where they, you know, treat cancer patients. And it was a great loss for me and many other people, but I sure believe he's in heaven, man. He accepted the Lord, you know, not too long before we got together. And so I'm glad to know where he is, man.

I remember reading his biography and that he talked about his conversion to Christianity and how he had come out of some very, very difficult things in his life. And that had to have been surreal, Archie, for you to be in the studio with him producing that record after seeing him when you were in high school. You were a kid and he was out there doing it.

And then here you are now going into the studio and you're producing a record. And that had to have been a surreal moment. Oh, it was. It was. We rehearsed out at my house. You probably remember, Peter, I had it. It was a little building, you know, behind my house.

It was the old kitchen. And, you know, I turned it into a studio and and we rehearsed out there just, you know, me playing the piano and BJ, you know, listen to the songs and we would work on them together there. And it was great. And then then we moved to the studio and and recorded that first album. And it was it was something to sit in the I mean, I played piano on some of the songs and sometimes I had somebody else sitting back in that control room and listening to him sing those songs.

It was a surreal moment. You know, he was just one of my favorite singers in the world. Well, and I'm going to play some more of your music during our time together here. And then I've got a special treat at the end of our time when I'm going to play Gracie performing a song that you wrote with Debbie Hargis and some years ago. And Gracie, this song, she just made it her own.

It's a beautiful song and it has such a great message. So that's a real treat at the end of the program. We'll close with that. Archie, you're no stranger to the caregiving world. And you and I don't you don't have to go into all your personal stuff on that. But you've had to walk through some tough times, you and your wife, Kathy, and you've had to walk through some tough times.

What are what are some things that surprised you about this journey? You mean regarding my own illness or? Well, yeah, you had your own illness to deal with, which was significant. But now you're caring for someone else that is going through some stuff and you came out of all the stuff that you had to deal with.

And then you turn around and you're having to be strong for someone else. Talk a little bit about that. Yeah. Well, yeah.

When Kathy and I got married, you know, several years ago, I believe about 2003, something like that. But you might want to remember that, Archie. I know it.

Too many numbers going around, man. But anyway, anyway, she's she's just one of the sweetest people I've ever known. And we we got married and but, you know, she had had a tough, tough illness, you know, with arthritis. And her doctor told me she was probably the worst case he had.

And and it's you know, it's just been very progressive. And two years ago had to have her right leg amputated from the knee down. And that was a blow to both of us.

And it was just just a hard, hard thing. But we you know, we've gotten through it and she's just an amazing enough. I don't believe I could have done what she did, but she just did not complain.

She didn't complain and gripe about. I don't have a right leg. I can't walk.

She had never done that. I mean, she scoots around the house peddling with one foot, you know, and peddling the wheelchair. You know, we're in the process of getting, you know, a scooter or power chair for.

But it's been a long process, but we're we're good. Well, those things are. And she can't wear a prosthesis, from what I understand.

Is that correct? That's correct, because we tried it and it just it wasn't going to work for her. And, you know, one of her doctors said, you know, we think you'll be better, you know, just to have a scooter, you know, or a power chair. And she's going to get the power chair. And what she's very excited about that. The seat will raise up and you know where you can get into the countertop. Tell her not to get those ones that launch you forward too far, because you've got to be careful with those things.

That's right. How has this how has this changed you? Walking through this process with her, as you've had to watch her struggle with this and you've seen her great attitude and her sweet spirit.

But how has this affected you, Archie? Well, it's made me a lot more want to be more like her, you know, because I just see how she has taken it so well. And I just, you know, just really pray that, you know, I have that same kind of outlook. If I ever had something bad happen, I mean, I've had enough. You've had your share of things.

I'll tell you, I hope I've gotten mine over with. But just to watch somebody just take it so well. I mean, it just made me admire her so much.

And, you know, she's not a person that gripes or complains about, you know, her state in life right now with not having her right leg from the knee down. And it just had a powerful effect on me. How does it affect your music? Have you been able to kind of process it out musically? Well, I wrote a song about her many years ago, but it was based on, you know, when we got married. You know, I'd say that the rest of it, you know, I spend a lot of time with Kathy and I don't write as much as I used to. But I try to write, when I do get the opportunity to write, I try to write a real quality song that, you know, something that really inspires me. And she is very inspiring to me. And there's usually something, whatever I'm writing, I usually am thinking something about her, you know. Well, you're not noted for shallow lyrics. I mean, the things you write and the melodies you write have such a poignancy to them as people can hear and what a difference you made in my life and other songs we're going to play when we come back from the break.

And so I know that as you watch these things, you're observing and you're thinking and you're processing it out. And the music that comes out of you, Archie, is extraordinary. And I really do appreciate you just taking time to share this with us. We're going to talk some more with Archie Jordan, his award winning songwriter. He's written songs that we've heard for a lifetime.

This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg. Don't go away.

We'll be right back. Hey, this is Larry the Cable Guy. You are listening to Hope for the Caregiver with Peter Rosenberg.

And if you're not listening to it, you're a communist. You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer. That is one of my favorite songs of Archie Jordan.

B.J. Thomas sang this. You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer. This is Peter Rosenberg.

Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. We're talking with Archie Jordan, who has written so many beautiful songs over his lengthy career as a songwriter, producer. And Archie, I also brag on you a little bit more too. Archie's a really good orchestrator. I mean, one of the things a friend of mine in the music business said, when you want great strings written out, you know, the parts for all your orchestra, get Archie because Archie can do string lines like nobody else. So that I'm just telling you what they say, Archie.

That's what they say. You do great work. Archie, I wanted to ask you, one of the things I talk about on this show with fellow caregivers is that we have, we get so wrapped up into the journey of someone else's story, we lose our identity, we lose ourselves. And part of one of the things that I do to help me kind of regain my own identity and my own voice is I go to the piano and I work things out and I play and that creativity kind of helps come out of me. And there are a lot of folks out here that like to write songs.

They send me some of their songs and so forth. And as a professional, as somebody who has achieved great success as a songwriter, what are some thoughts that you would offer to those caregivers out there who, you know, some people don't try to go out and write a Grammy Award winning song, write something that's just authentic to who you are. But if you're struggling with this and you feel like you've got some music in you and you want to process these emotions you're having as a caregiver and so forth.

Archie, what are some thoughts you would, some advice you'd give them? Well, I would kind of like you were talking about if you play an instrument, guitar, piano, go to that instrument and, you know, just kind of pour your feelings out. And, you know, a lot of times, you know, the first thing you write might not be the complete song. You know, many times I'll rewrite something, you know, I'll look at it and say, you know, that isn't quite 100 percent.

You know, and sometimes it comes very quickly, but sometimes you need to really, you know, put some time in and, you know, study it. And I'll tell you, you know, all through my life, especially from about high school on, you know, I would study the great songwriters and composers. And, you know, I think it's good to look back at those great, great writers, the people that you really admire.

And I did that and I would and it influenced the way I write. But, you know, they're just I studied everybody from Irving Berlin, you know, to the Beatles and so many more. And the great songwriters that wrote the musicals on Broadway, those guys were some of the best. And I studied them because they wrote such great melodies.

You know, listen to the people that you like a lot. And I know that really helped me. Well, you have such beautiful melodies that you've written on your songs. He's the hand on my shoulder. I love that melody. I love that song. And I remember I went to you with the song that I wrote.

Man, this has got to be almost 20 years ago, Archie. And I was playing it for you and you were at the house because I remember because we had Black Eyed Peas that night. But I got to introduce the kids to you for the first time and they were so excited because they heard me playing a lot of your stuff. But I said, I played the song for you and you looked at me and you said, it doesn't feel authentic yet. And it really pushed me to go dig deeper into what I was trying to say with this song. And it caused me to go back and say, OK, what do I need to say? What am I dancing around? I'm not going to the heart of this yet.

I'm still too far away from it. It was a great piece of advice. It doesn't sound authentic. Before we get into this last song, just talk about that for just a few moments on how to be authentic with your songwriting. I think the most important thing is just be sincere about it. You heard me talk about being influenced by some of the great songwriters, but you don't want to try to copy what they do. They can influence you and inspire you, but you don't want to copy anything. And the Lord had something that he wants you to write.

And I think one thing, too, is I do a lot of praying about it, that God would show me what he wanted me to write. And that's probably the most important thing I could tell you. He's the one with all the great knowledge. And that's who I depend on most for my inspiration.

Archie, I really do appreciate you taking the time. I know you and I have been friends for a long time, but let me just publicly say that I really did grow up playing your stuff. The way you felt when you heard BJ and then you got to work with him, that's the way I felt with you.

And I really mean that sincerely. I played He's the Hand on My Shoulder not too terribly long ago at church. And I just told the story about you and what this song has meant to me.

And I played it for a lifetime. And I could hook some of your piano playing. I could hit those notes exactly the way you guys had them on the record.

And that makes me feel good that I could do that. If people want to find out about you, they want to go to If Archie's songs have meant something to you over your lifetime, I know that he would love for you to send him an email, contact him, just thank him for it. And there's always a story sometimes that it meant something to you during a tough place. If you can look back and hear what a difference you made in my life and think about certain things that happened in your life, I know those things are very meaningful to songwriters. I'm going to close with a song called Myths of the Valley, written by Archie and a lady named Debbie Hargis. Gracie sang this, and to my knowledge, Archie just told me this, to my knowledge, I think Gracie's the only one who's ever sung this song.

But it really captures so much of her life. And Archie, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you being with me here today. Thank you, buddy. It's my pleasure. And you, great friend, and thanks for having me on the show. There will be times when your peace can't be found You cry for help, yet you hear back no sound You feel there's no one on whom you can rely You think your battle's lost, so why try?

Why even try? But in the midst of the valley you will see the light You think you are alone, but then you look again In the midst of the valley, in the midst of the valley, there stands a friend Keep faith and hope close to your heart They'll guide your steps when the valley gets dark And when you feel you just can't go on That's when you will feel his hand so very strong For in the midst of the valley you will see the light You think you are alone, but then you look again In the midst of the valley, in the midst of the valley, there stands a friend You think you can't go on, but then you just look again There stands a friend Gracey, when you envisioned doing a prosthetic limb outreach, did you ever think that inmates would help you do that? Not in a million years When you go to the facility run by CoreCivic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all over the country, that you put out the plea for and they're disassembling, you see all these legs, like what you have, your own prosthetic legs And arms, everything And arms, when you see all this, what does that do to you? Makes me cry, because I see the smiles on their faces and I know what it is to be like someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out Of course, being in the hospital so much and so long, these men are so glad that they get to be doing, as one band said, something good finally with my hands Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled? No, I had no idea, you know, I thought of peg leg, I thought of wooden legs, I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex feet and sea legs and all that, I never thought about that As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that they're helping other people now walk they're providing the means for these supplies to get over there, what does that do to you, just on a heart level? I wish I could explain to the world what I see in there and I wish that I could be able to go and say, this guy right here, he needs to go to Africa with us I never not feel that way, every time, you know, you always make me have to leave, I don't want to leave them I feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like that we have a common bond that I would have never expected that only God could put together Now that you've had an experience with it, what do you think of the faith-based programs that CoreCivic offers? I think they're just absolutely awesome and I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this because the return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one, is just an amazingly low rate compared to those who don't have them and I think that that says so much, that doesn't have anything to do with me it just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people If people want to donate a used prosthetic limb, whether from a loved one who passed away or, you know, somebody who outgrew them, you've donated some of your own for them to do How do they do that? Where do they fund it? Oh, please go to slash recycle Thanks Gracie
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 18:10:55 / 2023-05-20 18:20:15 / 9

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