I was finally done with elementary school and ready to entered the sixth grade. I loved my class and seemed to get along with everyone.
One day, I heard on the announcements that tryouts were going to be held for the middle school talent show. I immediately was like, Hey, I can do that! Well, I just had to figure out what that was.
At that time, my Dad was introducing me to an up and coming Christian artist named, Carman. He had a song I liked called Radically Saved. I thought it would be perfect to sing. So, I got the accompaniment track and I practiced regularly. I knew I was ready for the tryout.
The tryouts were held in the high school cafeteria because there was a large turnout. I got to listen to a few of the acts. They all sounded pretty good. They eventually called my name and I made the walk to the evaluation room. I gave them my track and began to sing. They all smiled, thanked me, and said that they would post the results in a few days. So, I didn’t know what to expect.
A few days later my parents got a phone call. It was someone representing the talent show. They began their message, “We would love Robbie to be in the talent show. He is very gifted. However, is it possible for him to have a different song choice?”
My parents didn’t know how to react.
Just so you know, if you have never heard Radically Saved, the song opens with these lyrics:
“Jesus Christ is Lord and God’s still on the Throne.
There’s power in the blood and I’m saved to the bone.”
Little did my innocent mind know, I had stirred up a hornets nest with those lyrics. The principal decided that it was not proper to sing such a song in public school. I never knew about these social dos and don’ts. I think it took my parent’s back as well. The talent show results were delayed and none of the kids at school really knew why. We figured there must have been a lot of kids that tried out.
The next day my parents asked me if I would want to sing a different song. The song could have God in it but not Jesus. I told them I guess I could find another song if I had to. But, my mom did not feel right about it. She met with the school board and had various meetings about the legalities of my song. Fortunately, we had some good people on our side and I was approved to sing my song based on free speech.
It was a great evening. The crowd responded favorably. In fact, all of the eighth grade bands came out from behind stage so that could watch me perform.