May 24--When the foot starts tapping, stand back.
Barbara Feemster's hot line to the Lord's music is open for business again.
Feemster, a musical dynamo with more than 50 years of performing experience, says she never knows when the mood to create music will strike her.
"It isn't on my time," she says. "It's on God's time. But that foot will start tapping, and the verses will start flowing, and I know the spirit is in charge.
"I just grab a pen and some paper, and I'm along for the ride."
It's been a nearly lifelong ride for Feemster, now a 60 years old.
Her first performance was as a 3-year-old in her church's Little Angels choir, back when every home that could afford one had a piano in the parlor.
"All the aunties had one," she said with a giggle. "It didn't matter if anyone could play the thing or not. That piano was there for a reason. You respected the music."
Her musical inspirations weren't limited to church.
"There were plenty of times I'd grab a hairbrush and start singing, pretending I was one of the Supremes," she said, laughing at the memory. "I've always thought that there's so much wonderful music in the world, just waiting to be explored."
Feemster graduated from E.E. Smith High School and studied music at Shaw University. She has been active in both spiritual and secular music in the region, performing in churches and stage productions such as "Porgy & Bess."
Later, Feemster began writing songs of inspiration and comfort. These are the songs she will share at a Sunday concert at her home church, Second Missionary Baptist Church.
"Singing is a medicine to me," she said. "Whatever is ailing, music will make it better. I like to use music as a platform to God's glory.
"My music is perfect for church, or for people to sing by themselves. You know some churches don't have big choirs. They might just have a piano and a few people wanting something to sing to glorify God.
"My songs are perfect for that. Every song has a Scripture reference. If you believe the Bible, you'll find comfort in these songs."
She said her concert is "a way to say thanks to so many people in Fayetteville."
"The churches, the choirs, my friends from E.E. Smith, this is a town of first-class people," she said.
"Kids growing up today need to know that they can pursue their dreams. There are people all around, people that they may not know yet, who can help. They just have to keep at it."
Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3515.
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