Jack Holcomb "The Holy City" Jerusalem

0
0
381 days ago, 314 views
Jack Holcomb, Gospel TenorRemembering Jack Holcombby Roger OlsonGospel recording artist Jack Holcomb (Harold Jackson Holcomb) was born and raised in Waco, Texas. After living in California where he hosted a radio program and served as evangelist Jack Shuller's song leader he returned to Waco. In Waco he recorded gospel music albums for Word Records and traveled around the country preaching and singing at Youth for Christ rallies and in churches and meetings of various kinds. In 1963 RCA named him "Mr. Gospel Music." At that time he was without doubt one of the best known and loved Christian recording artists in the United States.Jack Holcomb's life was a tragic one. He was raised in extreme poverty. His first wife died just a few years after their marriage. He remarried, but in 1953 his first child, little girl of eighteen months named Jo Ellen, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Jack often told the story of looking for her body in the little casket in downtown Waco after the terrible tornado that struck and destroyed the funeral home and all of downtown Waco. He finally found her body at the cemetery where bodies had been taken.Jack had a bad heart; throughout the 1960s he suffered heart attacks and then congestive heart failure. Through it all he sang and recorded beloved gospel songs such as "Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There." In the summer of 1968, when Jack was only 47 years old, he recorded his last album entitled "Dearest to My Heart" which featured a picture of Jack and his son Jackie on the cover. Within weeks (July) Jack died of heart failure in a hotel in Dallas where he was meeting with recording company executives to plan his next project.Jack was buried next to his daughter in Waco Memorial Park on interstate 35 just south of Waco. His wife Ellen was penniless due to the enormous medical bills and Jack's inability to travel the last few months of his life. She never could afford a grave marker for him, so he lay in an unmarked grave until 2004.In the summer of 2003 I (Roger Olson) discovered that my father's favorite gospel recording artist Jack Holcomb was buried in the city to which I had recently moved from St. Paul, Minnesota. I immediately went out to the cemetery to find his grave and could not find it. (I knew which section it was in and found his daughter's grave but not Jack's.) The cemetery office informed me that his grave was unmarked. I immediately began trying to raise money to purchase a marker for "Mr. Gospel Music." With Mrs. Holcomb's blessing (she never remarried) I got the local newspaper involved; they published a very nice story about Jack Holcomb and his unmarked grave. Within weeks a local church got on board and together we began raising money.Money began to come in from Jack's fans all over the world, but it appeared it would take many months to raise all of the funds needed. Then the cemetery and grave marker manufacturer volunteered to donate a beautiful granite and metal grave marker for both Jack and his wife Ellen. (Ellen has a burial plot next to Jack and their daughter.) The money raised was given to Mrs. Holcomb at the dedication of the grave marker on January 17, 2004. Their son Jack, Jr. ("Jackie") and daughter Joi Kim (adopted from Korea with the help of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans) were present. I was able to give Jackie a copy of his father's last album featuring himself as a thirteen year old boy with his dad just weeks before his dad's death. He did not own a copy of his own.Roger E. Olson For More INFOhttp://www.jackholcomb.org/

SPONSORS

SPONSORS

SPONSORS