If the Savior Followed me...on Social Media

If the Savior stood beside me, Would I tweet the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments, when selecting sites to view?
Would I swipe right on this Tinder? Would I Snap more righteously?
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, Watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, Would I send these pics & texts?
Would all my words be true and kind, On my WhatsApp messages?
Is my LinkedIn profile honest? Would I change my Tumblr feed?
What if I saw the Savior going through my browser history?

He is always near me, Sees my Instagram flair,
He views my boards on Pinterest, And every Facebook post I share.
So I’ll be the kind of person That I know I’d like to be
‘Cause I’ve received the Savior’s friend request , He’s following me.
–If the Savior Stood Beside Me–Original lyrics by Sally DeFord, altered by Nerdy Gay Mormon


“Pan American Blues” // DeFord Bailey // Grand Ole Opry, 1967

Stricken with infantile paralysis at the age of 3, DeFord Bailey was given a harmonica as a means of amusement. The illness wasn’t the first obstacle Bailey had to overcome as a child, but one that would lay the groundwork for becoming the first African-American star of the Grand Ole Opry.
Born Dec. 14, 1899 in Bellwood, Tenn., Bailey overcame polio early in life, though his back would remain deformed and he would never grow taller than 4-foot-10.
His mother died when he was a baby, leaving his father’s sister and her husband to care for the young Bailey.
He spent his young life in rural Tennessee communities near railroads where he composed many of his harmonica tunes. Bailey would become famous for recreating the sounds of rushing locomotives.
During his teenage years he joined his family in Nashville, Tenn., where he would win a French harp contest on WDAD in 1925. Shortly thereafter, Bailey made his first appearance on WSM Radio, despite racial opposition from the station’s director.
Following his WSM appearance, Bailey would become known as the “Harmonica Wizard.”
In 1926, the WSM Barn Dance followed an hour of symphonic music. One evening its programming concluded with a selection by a composer reproducing the sound of a train.
Bailey opened the Barn Dance with his rendition of “Pan American Blues,” which led director George D. Hay to observe, “For the past hour we have been listening to music taken largely from grand opera. From now on we will present ‘The Grand Ole Opry.’”
Bailey toured with Opry stars like Roy Acuff, Uncle Dave Macon and Bill Monroe, though racial segregation caused problems for the traveling musician.
On some occasions, Bailey would pose as a baggage boy for the white performers in order to get into hotels.
In 1928, he recorded “Ice Water Blues” for Victor Records, a session that would be re-released three times due to its popularity.
During his most popular time on the Opry, Bailey was allotted a 25-minute performance on the three hour Opry show, but by 1941 he was finished at the Opry and began a 30-year career shining shoes on Twelfth Avenue.
Bailey’s career was remembered during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and he made an appearance on a local syndicated blues show, “Night Train.” In 1965, he performed at the Vanderbilt University. He would celebrate his 75th birthday on the Grand Ole Opry, playing several of his old tunes.
Bailey passed away July 2, 1982, at the age of 82. On June 23, 1983, the country music industry celebrated Bailey as the first African-American star of the Grand Ole Opry.

Black Music

There was a time when white people were only making classical music.
There was a time when a white person had never heard the rift of a guitar.
They had never heard the sound of a banjo.
They had never heard SOUL.
They had never heard jazz or bluegrass.
They had never heard R&B and Hip Hop
Rap and Reggae
Pop and Rock n Roll.
They never knew how music could make them swing their hips
And clap their hands
And feel every human emotion.
There were no white people at the start
There were no white people at the invention of
Pop or
Disco or Hip hop or
R&B or
Jazz or
Gospel/Soul/Funk or
Rap or
Reggae or
Rock n roll or
Country or
Swing or
Indie music or
EDM or
Salsa or
(Afro)Latin music.
White people didn’t invent them.
White people don’t own them.
They aren’t theirs.
There was a time when white kids had to sneak out to listen to rock n roll.
They had signs warning white parents about devil’s music.

You have white people saying that Nelly can’t be in a country song.
Darius Rucker, Cowboy Troy, Charley Pride, Big Al Downing, Cleve Francis, DeFord Bailey

Black and Afro-Latin music is the backbone for all popular music today yet where are we?
Our music gave you Justin Bieber, U2, Miley Cyrus, JT, Elvis, The Beatles, Journey, One Direction, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen.

In 2013 no Black artists had a number one song in the USA. But Black music remained at number one.

Tupac, Run DMC, Lil Kim, Queen Latifah, Easy E, Lauryn Hill, B.IG., Kendrick, Jay-Z, Will Smith.
The first rap song to win best song at the Grammys was by a white person. Same Love bashed hip hop and black people in that song.

The heart is the most unforgiving organ in the body. You do not regain cardiac cells once they’re damaged or destroyed. The heart is left weaker and inefficient as before. When you start to remove the heart and its function from the body you slowly make it harder for it function. It will eventually give out and flatline.

When you erase the people who brought you the music that you love today from that music itself you slowly kill off the greatness and authenticity. The music will degenerate and the spirit will too. I won’t be there to see it happen and I don’t want to. I won’t be there to tell you I told you so. But in case I don’t make it till then you can read this over.

Remember: You were never there.



Michelle DeFord
Gold Star Mother

My son David re-enlisted in the Army shortly after September 11th and less than three years later, he went to Iraq. I will never forget the sound of the soldiers’ boots as they came up the stairs to tell me he was killed by a roadside bomb on September 25, 2004.

I cannot describe the sense of emptiness that losing a child brings, but I can tell you that when I saw Donald Trump attack another Gold Star Mother, I was absolutely outraged.

That’s why I agreed to share my story in a television ad VoteVets is putting on the air this week. Help me get it out there, because we must stop Donald Trump…

Mr. Trump hasn’t the slightest notion of what the word sacrifice means. Captain Khan’s mother, and the families who have lost loved ones in war, should be honored and treated with kindness, not the disrespect Donald Trump showed her.  […]


Most days, I’m not a tremendous fan of Frank Deford. He tends to wax nostalgic, undersell the influence of market economics, and dislike change in general.

But I think his piece from today’s Morning Edition on the inbred machinations of international sports governing bodies is pretty spot on. Certainly worth 3 minutes and 45 seconds of your time. 


Okay…. For any of you out there who may have seen this floating around (I don’t think it’s gotten that far yet) THIS IMAGE IS MINE.

I normally don’t post my art stuff because I don’t have a scanner, but this is so fucking important to me.

My name is Shelbie Deford and this piece is why I will never EVER create something “just for the credit” again.

A little over a year ago, I was asked to do a drawing for someone’s YouTube banner. Literally, all he asked for was a floating walrus with tentacles. It sounded dumb, but I took the “job”.

The (unfortunately verbal) agreement was that, after I drew it, he would make a digital copy using his brother’s scanner. He would give me credit on his YouTube channel and return the original copy.


And do you know what part of the deal this guy held up? Fucking none of it. At least nothing that didn’t serve him.

I have not received credit on his YouTube channel (and he has since posted it on Facebook/used it on other sites without permission). He has not returned the original copy to me. He doesn’t even know where the fuck it is.

The last time I asked him about it and told him I wanted it back, he responded with “Eh…. I don’t really like that idea. I was just gonna frame it and throw it up on my wall.”


It got worse though. I asked him where it was…..

“Probably under a stack of papers at my brother’s house.”

That part actually nearly made me cry. I know it’s “just a drawing” but its also a piece of me that I thought I had made clear I wasn’t willing to give away.

I’ve been refusing to speak to him. I just can’t fucking associate with someone who is so disrespectful towards my art and myself.

It’ll be a long time before I can think about this without getting angry.