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And now, This I Believe, a series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Curt Massey, the CBS Radio and singing star, made his professional debut at the age of 9 in a county jail. He was there at the invitation of the sheriff, who had been so impressed with his prize-winning fiddling in an adult contest that he offered young Curt a dollar to entertain his prisoners. After this auspicious start, Curt went on to learn the trumpet and piano, as well as developing a pleasant baritone singing voice.
He led a dance band in Kansas City and headed a group called The Westerners before starting out on his own as a singer and radio star. His program, Curt Massey Time, went on the air as a summer replacement in 1949 and has been going strong ever since. Here are some of the beliefs that Curt Massey has found important to him as an entertainer and as a human being.
There’s an old popular song entitled “Happiness is a Thing Called Joe.” But to me, happiness is an attitude of the heart, mind, and soul that is brought about by an expanding service-filled type of living. The happy life is the God-centered life; the frustrated life is the ego-centered life.
I’ve always believed that as a parent, my first obligation to my children is to give them a moral and spiritual concept of life. The teaching of faith and prayer gives them a foundation that will not yield to fear or adversity. This belief resulted in my becoming a regular churchgoer. My wife and I were married in a chapel by a minister, and after that—because I led a dance band on Saturday nights until two in the morning, and had a radio program on Sundays—we didn’t get to church.
Then when our first son, Steven, was 4 years old, we felt that he should be getting more religious training than we were equipped to give him. So I started leaving him at church on Sundays.
Everything was fine for a few Sundays until one day, he firmly announced that the other children attended church with their parents, and he was not going again unless his mother and I went, too. Well, we were surprised to say the least, but we realized that we had been at fault. So we started attending confirmation classes and joined the church and entered into all of its activities. And now we have another son, David, and the four of us look forward to attending church on Sunday mornings.
I hardly agree with the slogan that “The family that prays together, stays together.” I strive to teach my children that God is not a divine Santa Claus, and that in their prayers they should not give orders but, ah, rather should report for duty.
I feel that if they apply Christ’s teachings to their everyday life, they will know the peace of God that passeth all understanding.
Through prayer, meditation, and devotional reading, I have relieved much of the tenseness and strain of my five-day a week radio show. There are times when it’s a great relief to know that God gives me strength. If I start the day with a prayer, molehills never become mountains, and the mountains become molehills when I trust in God. I do not think that a person cannot know God and be prayerful without going to church. But it is like having a wonderful friend and never going to visit with him in his home.
I close my radio program each Friday with a reminder to everyone to take his family to church. And when I say church, I mean any place where a man can worship God, regardless of race or creed. There are many roads to the Supreme Being. The important thing is to take one of them. And I have found that through fellowship with God and my fellow men, my life can become fruitful, abundant, and eternal.
That was Curt Massey, whose pleasant voice and bright personality are well known to radio listeners. He lives with his wife and two children in Beverley Hills, California.