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700 Club CBN Shows

The 700 Club

Dion DiMucci: Blues With Friends

Shawn Brown - 700 Club Producer

American singer and songwriter Dion DiMucci has been rocking the music charts since the late fifties. Inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1989, the 80-year-old is still making music. His recent album, "Blues with Friends," features the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and others.

"All these named people that are on this new album, and I love – I love that title of that song 'Hymn to Him.' How did – how did you come up with that?"

“I just thought of it. I – you know, it – (SLIGHT LAUGH) it sounded clever, but so true, you know.  When I go out for a walk, I'm always like singing praises to God, you know, just uh – I feel so blessed I'm uh married 57 years, I have three beautiful girls, and uh five grandchildren, said Dion.”

Dion started his career in the late 50’s as crooner with the doo-wop group The Belmonts. In 1960, he launched a solo career that brought a string of worldwide hits including the chart topping dongs like, "The Wanderer" and his number 1 hit, "Runaround Sue." But after years of struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, his life took a drastic turn after a conversation I had with him.

"We can go back historically with both us – when-when I-I think made some impression on you about Jesus, didn't I?"

“You said something pretty profound to me. I had 12 gold records on the wall, I was in – by the world's standards, I-I was successful. But make no – make a note here, success and fulfillment are two different things, you know. They're two different things. So I got on my knees and I asked God for help and He-He removed the obsession to drink and drug. So, I believed in God's power. I wasn't aware of His very reality. And you said to me, 'You know, Dion,' you said, 'I see you believe in God. I hear what you're saying. And God is present in your life. Ask Him who Jesus is. Do you trust that God that you prayed to?' I said, 'I – you bet.' You said, 'If you ask Him for bread, do you think He'll give you a stone?' I said, 'No.' You-you said, 'Ask Him if Jesus is His Son.' Well, I got an answer when I asked. I didn't get an immediate answer, but I'll tell you this, Scott, I haven't been the same for the – over 40 years, said Dion.” 

Dion gave his life to Jesus Christ in the late 60’s.   

“So the-the Lord is in your life, you're grounded, you're rooted, but you're still in show business in so many ways. How have you been able to dance around all the trappings?"

“Well, once you open your heart to God and you have a relationship with Him, He shapes your desire for those things," said Dion.

In the decades since, Dion’s music has continued to inspire with messages of togetherness and unity. One track on his new album called, “Here in America, A Song for Sam.” It was written in response to the recent upswell of racial tensions in the U.S. But the song is inspired by a friend and fellow artist from the 60’s… the late music legend Sam Cooke, a man he saw take the high road when confronted with racism.  

“When I saw Sam Cooke in certain situations that were really uh – nerve – to me, uh I-I walked over to him and I said, 'Sam, why don't you give that guy, you know, just give him one right hook, you know, and knock that guy out.' And he said, 'Dion, I wouldn't lower myself to go down,' he said, he said, 'You know.' And-and he taught me –he said, 'Dion, racism is a peculiar way to be-become a man or feel that you're a man. It's peculiar.' Scott. You're talking about how to share uh, uh Christ with people. 'Change is gonna come,' he wrote. He tried to get to people through his music, through his love, through his understanding, through his friendship, and-and talking about God," said Dion.

There’s one more song on that album I need to mention…featuring Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa. It’s a perfect reflection of his faith in Jesus, and a message of hope and healing for all. He calls it…"Hymn to Him."

"When you came around to writing this song, 'Hymn to Him,' we'll come back to that now. Uh what did you – what were you thinking? I mean, the lyrics say it all. I'm – they really do."

“I'll read the sentence, it says, 'If the winds of disaster have blown hard through your night and the dreams you have cherished can't begin to take flight, take His hand through the sunlight, lift your head high above. Let your blood flow forever with the warmth of His love. Blend your life with His blessings, drink the wine of tomorrow. Yesterday must be vanished with the seeds of your sorrow.' You know, you-you walk with God, you're – you-you have this peace that everything makes sense. There was a time when I didn't know Him, and everything looked bleak to me. And uh, you know, you just – when you're walking with Him, the-the world makes sense," said Dion.

 

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