The 40th Annual Bud Magness Memorial Singing for 2012 in Heber Springs may be over in more ways than one
It was an emotional night for Carolyn Magness Cox. After working side by side with her husband for so many years to put the Bud Magness singing event together, the question everyone wants her to answer is will it continue under its current name? Will she be involved in future events? Cox has yet to answer. Her desire is to retire the name after this past weekend remembering the event to be a thriving and strong event after all these years. She admits she’s torn between today’s technology and the way it was years ago. Allowing the event to seek sponsorships or run commercials to promote the event are hard for Cox to accept because they let word of mouth make the event what it is today. “My husband wouldn’t allow tapes or tracks to be used because they would break or get lost, he didn’t like that,” smiled Cox as she reminisced. “He would require everyone who sang to have their own musicians, but now we allow tracks.” The Crusaders sang with keyboard and bass, but everyone else who played this weekend had laptops or compact discs, all using today’s technology to bring the message of hope and salvation to those in attendance. “I just don’t know what I’ll do” says Cox. Time and prayer will tell. This event began in 1972 and was started to recognize the community of gospel quartet singers, songwriters and ultimately the fans. The 40th Annual Bud Magness Memorial Gospel Quartet Singing held in the Heber Springs Spring Park Amphitheater was well attended by the community. For 40 years groups from all over the state and now, country is invited to participate. Magness named the event "Arkansas in Cleburne County", because people from all over Arkansas came to Cleburne County for the event and the singers came from the state. It began as a Saturday night only event, but interest was so great that it was necessary to go to two nights to be able to get all the groups wanting to participate in the program. Some of the groups appearing on Friday night were; Gerald Williams and the Melody Boys, Velvet Ridge, N'Him, The Crusaders, The Voyagers, The Mercy River Boys and Hallelujah Harmony. Playing on Saturday night was The Crusaders, The Apostles, N’Him, Crosspoint, Velvet Ridge, and the Mercy River Boys.