Music video — Elder Frank Newsome singing “I Am Blessed” at Blue Ridge Folklife Festival last Saturday
Elder Frank Newsome, from the Little David Church, near Haysi, is an a cappella singer in the Old Regular Baptist “lined-out singing” tradition. Read more about him here — http://www.roanoke.com/extra/wb/308009.
Newsome has had black lung for years, but he still puts everything into his performances. Last Saturday at Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, he sang songs including “I Am Blessed.” It wasn’t his best day, congestion wise, but his voice still was strong, as was his spirit. Check out this video of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage fellow. Newsome is the first Old Regular Baptist elder/singer to receive that fellowship, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.