Remembering Billie Newman
Bailey Hill Revival
one band under God
Today our hearts are heavy with missing our Miss Billie. She was a vibrant, vital, integral part of Bailey Hill Revival, when there was a Bailey Hill Revival. Whenever we were playing in concert, Miss Billie would sing her special solo, “I’m Just an Old Lump of Coal” in her deep, resonant voice. The last line of the chorus says, “…but I’m gonna be a diamond someday.”

Billie Newman is a diamond now. As Barbara Laird put it, “brilliantly shining, multifaceted, rainbow-hued…” We all miss her. We always will, until we see her again.

We didn’t find out about her funeral until too late, because no one called to tell us, and we don’t take the paper. So, in addition to all the other grief and pain is added that we don’t get to tell her family how much she meant to us. If they ever read this, I hope they will know how special Billie was to us: band member, Sunday School teacher, and most importantly, friend.

I don’t know if Bailey Hill Revival will ever get back together. We have had changes in our membership over the years, and Billie hasn’t been able to play with the band for a long time. Things don’t ever stay the same, much as we’d like them to. But whether or not Bailey Hill Revival ceases to exist, in our hearts, Billie Newman will always be a special part of us.

Billie Newman became a diamond on July 7, 2010.

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This page was last updated: July 10, 2010
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