For a song chain theme, one writes quickly and posts the first song that comes to mind. When I heard the beautiful silky smooth voice of Loreena McKennitt singing “All follow this and come to dust,” it made me think of the Blue Sky Boys (Bill and Earl Bolick) harmonizing on “Dust on the Bible.” It’s one of those sweet traditional bluegrass gospel tunes that comes from the brother duos of the 1930s and 1940s. We like to pick and sing the song with my own band here in Oregon, the Umpqua Valley Bluegrass Band. The song has a message which is still relevant today.
The song was written by Walter and Johnny Bailes. Walter once said, “I was born and raised in West Virginia in an area now considered a part of Charleston. My dad, being a minister, and my Christian mother led us children to believe in Christ and go to church. It was in church while in my late teens that I found the origin for ‘Dust on the Bible.’ A young minister by the name of Willard Carney came there and started a church in store basement. Since our parents had always taught us respect for all Christ-believing churches, I started attending Brother Carney’s church pretty regular. In one of these services, I heard him relate this experience of going into a home to visit, which story is told in this song. I just put his story in song and bless him for it. I believe him to be a very sincere minister of Christ!”