Even in my parent’s less than humble home in the tiny living room, there was always a piano, organ, accordion, and a couple of guitars. The beautiful sound of the steel guitar would join in when old Mr. Peeler would stop by. Living just down the road from an old landmark church, would find bored evangelist’s musicians roaming in and out of our house during the daytime and nights off of revival. We had no idea that we were in the midst of some of the greatest musicians and private music jam sessions. How was this not normal?
A gentleman who worked on the old oil furnace would come by every so often to band-aid whatever was broken. Preparing to leave, he would set his toolbox down at the door and turn to me, “Sing that song for me, something about a lighthouse.” Picking up his toolbox again and saying nothing more, he would then walk out of the door with a slight smile on his face. Uncertain if he had ever stepped inside of a church.
From all-night singings, revivals, homecomings, and camp meetings; singing became as familiar to me as breathing.
This is the amazing life that God has chosen for me.
With the music part of my family now playing in Glory, God has allowed my path to cross with some of the greatest talents in the music, artistic, and professional worlds.
The pleasure was all mine to have a chance meeting with an artist from Paris, his original painting becoming the artwork for one album cover.
An abrupt summer thunderstorm postponing a beach music concert right outside my office door produced a face-to-face introduction to the legendary singer, Danny Woods of the band, Chairmen of the Board. From that God-designed day of him sitting across from my desk, grew an amazing friendship to go faith-blind into the studio and record a Gospel album. Having never sang together before recording day proved God in the details.
Weaving this all together is one of the absolute finest musicians in the business, Richard Putnam. Over the past twenty something years, Richard and I have shared each note, each verse, and each chorus covering over fifty original songs and eleven albums.
My journey has taken me to the heights of beauty and grace, as well as to the depths of places that I am not sure that I could ever travel again. Down through the years and in the middle of so many long, dark nights; this is the place where each bitter tear arose into a hallelujah note.
My journey has certainly not been a bed of roses, but rather shady, green pastures where I found rest, peace, grace, and the courage to run the race that God has personally set before me.
No two journeys and no two races are the same. Yes, we all are on a journey. Oh, what a journey and oh, how it ends.
“My Journey”, the song, is not just a song, but rather a life-story lived. I count it only a gift of God to pen this calm after a weathered storm. I will remain eternally grateful to all those who carried “My journey” to the charts and allowed it to rest in the Cashbox/Southern Gospel Music Top 100 for nine straight months.
My life is one long testimony. I am living proof that from a poor Mountain/Melungeon ancestry, God can mold a polished vessel out of anything. Consistently molding me – from infant double pneumonia, two near fatal auto accidents that spiraled into crippling anxiety attacks, a laceration scar one hair-line away from my being blind in one eye, severe anemia having no detectable pulse, and on to so many silently heart-held recalls that are too personal and too painful to voice. Yet, God in his mercy, looked beyond the mess that I am. How could I not give my all to Him? I would not change one moment of my journey. There will always be a song.
Oh, what a journey! Walking with Christ, we can face life, love life, and laugh with life.
May all of your days be filled with Music, Love, and Light!
Show Me, The Beauty Of The Cross, One Drop Of Blood, I Choose To Believe, I’ve Got To Reach Jesus, Lord Have Mercy, My Journey, There Is Peace, Holy Spirit Flow Down, All That Matters, I’ll See You At Home
I Cry Jesus/What A Lovely Name, Goodbye World Goodbye, The Anchor Holds, It’s About The Cross, Heaven Only Knows It’s About Time, Home In A Heartbeat, Is That The New Jerusalem, The Blood Is Still Flowing, Where No One Wants To Be, The Battle Is The Lord’s, Amazing Grace, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, How Great Thou Art, The Old Rugged Cross, I Have A New Song
The First Noel, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Away In A Manger, O Holy Night, Go Tell It On The Mountain, What CHRISTmas Means
1982 – First recording using the name my dad gave me, “Dobby” – long before there was a Harry Potter character. Having never read a Harry Potter book, I was not familiar with the house elf until I received a book and a sock for Christmas. The gift was a bit lost of its intention when the gifter had to explain it. There is a Jeep rolling around town with DOBBY across the windshield. Not mine. I suppose a real Harry Potter fan. However, the photo is from my first 78 record, way back when. I am taking back the name my dad gave me.
Deborah “Dobby” Baliles – Author, Singer, Songwriter, & Publisher
Richard Putnam – Music, Arranger, & Producer
©All contents of this website/Deborah Baliles Music & Publishing/BMI. All rights reserved. Any form of duplication is strictly prohibited by law. No part of this site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the expressed, written consent of the author(s) or their representation.