Update: I changed the video to Page singing Amazing Grace for the Christian Children’s Fund. When I first heard this ad, I immediately knew who was singing.
As a kid, I was active in Boy Scouts. Highland Park troop 624 hosted by Northside Baptist Church. My Dad was the Scoutmaster.
I met a lot of good people, many of whom I still remember, but have lost track of over the years.
Page Wilson was not one who fell off my radar. Sadly, our paths did not cross often enough. but every few years I would seem to run into him at a bar or event someplace around Richmond and we would catch up.
And I often listened to him on the radio with his “Out of the Blue Radio Revue” that seemed to be ever-present over the years, but I never knew where I would find it. It was sort of like finding the golden Easter Egg. Anticipated but never expected, but always a treasure.
As a kid of perhaps 12 or 13, the entire Scout Troop recognized Wilson’s voice talent. My Dad made him the official Troop Song Leader and the hikes were always far more enjoyable with the songs Page belted out, as we joined in as best we could.
I ran across Page more in the 70’s and 80’s than in later years, and found that our taste in music was quite similar in our evolutionary process. Back in the late 80’s or perhaps early 90’s while I was working at the University of Richmond and the school had a family day picnic about once a year disguised as a fishing tournament, which was held mainly to thin out the fish in the lake.
The food was provided – hot dogs and burgers – by Food Services and the University (to mu surprise and delight) had hired Page Wilson to provide some music while we ate. As a long time John Prine fan, it was actually a song that had me take a closer look at the solo singer and I realized it was Page. This may have been the last time we talked, I am sad to say. Marriage, kids and a subsequent job traveling a lot limited my time in Richmond, particularly the “night life” scene.
But Page remembered my Dad and asked about him. He remembered my Dad’s encouragement of his music as a young kid. Now I know Page had the music in him and my Dad’s encouragement probably didn’t make much of a difference in the musical future of Mr. Miah Page Wilson, there is no way his total immersion in music was not going to happen. But I am pleased that Page kept that as a positive memory.
Page is not the only person I have known that had an early dream of big things in music that never hit the peak he hoped (or deserved). And despite a life that was a financial struggle the whole way, I doubt he would have change a thing.
Reading some of the comments around the internet today, I think Page Wilson left a legacy far beyond what fame and fortune would have brought him. And far beyond what he even knew.
The music in heaven is far sweeter today.
And enjoy the video!
Note: While Virginia Right! is a Conservative Political Blog, I have no idea what Page Wilson’s political beliefs were. And I really don’t care.