Monday, April 20, 2009

Wine into Water

When I was in college, Dirk Howell and Tony Brown – a couple of college students, entertained at the local bars. “Dirk and Tony” were very talented and were in much in demand performing beach music in the Athens GA music scene.

I just read that Dirk Howell (35 years later) is still performing. If you are in the market for a band for a wedding or a special occasion, although I have never heard this group, I've heard Dirk enough to guarantee that you will not go wrong by booking The Dirk Howell Band.

Tony Brown spent a lot of time at the Lambda Chi Fraternity house during my college years. His younger brother, Danny, was a member of our fraternity. His good friend ,Bruce Burch, was also one my fraternity brothers. I have written about Bruce here before.

Tony move to Nashville in 1982. He was the singing voice of all those Taco Bell (Run for the Border) television ads. He also sang jingles for corporations like Disney, McDonalds and Budweiser.

You probably know Tony by his professional name. T. Graham Brown, the country music star who always had a bottle of Jack Daniels on the stage with him, has produced 13 Albums and 20 singles on Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Three of his songs reached number one. Eight more of them reached the top ten.

His T-Ness has done pretty good for himself.

But his success came with a price.

T. Graham Brown’s 1998 hit song, Wine into Water, which was co-written by my friend Bruce Burch, was inspired by Brown’s personal struggle with alcoholism.

I am quite sure there are many folks reading this who can relate to the words of his song – whether from your own personal struggle with addiction or the struggle of someone close to you.

The waiting lists are getting longer and longer at most addiction rehabilitation facilities these days. And you can ride by any growing church and you will see a sign somewhere on the property advertising that particular church’s addiction recovery program. There are large crowds attending those programs and the crowds keep growing.

More and more good people are discovering, as hard as they may try, they cannot beat this disease by themselves. And like T. Graham Brown did in 1998, they are falling on their knees asking for help.

As T. Graham sings, the abuse of alcohol and drugs takes a person as low as they can go. And they drag a lot of innocent folks down with them.

If you are struggling with addiction, there is hope.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. And maybe the next step is to take T. Graham’s lead and ask God to turn the wine back into water.

Just maybe He is your best chance.

Watch this video.


Judy S said...

Thank you Bruce, this is a message that needs to be told. There are so many wonderful people who have let drugs and alcohol destroy their lives. All it takes is a little strength and a lot of faith. God is there, you just have to reach out to Him. God Bless.

Gwen Estes Hudgins said...

Bruce I didn't know you knew Bruce Burch. He is a Gainesville boy. Thought you might want to check out Bruce started this fund raiser in honor of his friend and is an annual concert each year here in G'ville. They have not posted this year's dates but keep checking out the site. A very enjoyable evening.

Michael Gillstrap said...

Bruce, a few years ago I heard an interview of T. Graham, maybe by Eddie Stubbs on WSM. In the interview T. Graham told the story behind the song and then went on to tell about meeting a well known football player at, I believe, a charity golf tournament and when they were introduced the football player told T. Graham that this song had saved his life. The football player had allowed his addictions to drive him to the point of committing suicide. He had decided on using the exhaust fumes from his vehicle to do the deed and was sitting in the vehicle with a hose from the exhaust stuck inside the vehicle just waiting to die when for some reason he decided to turn on the radio. T. Graham's Wine into water song was playing and it gave the football player enough encouragement to not only not take his own life but to straighten that life out and get back with his family and back to the game of football that he loved. I have searched for this story but have not been able to turn it up anywhere. If you could obtain the full story and publish it, I would appreciate it and hopefully it just might bless someone in need of a little hope in their life.