There are universal facts.
Here are three:
1. Texas has weather issues.
2. Grandchildren are better than children-children!
3. There are no people like Show People.
Hello. I am Kate. I am Show People.
My very first solo singing gig was at four years old: “If the Devil Doesn’t Like It, He Can Sit on a Tack.” Pretty aggressive stuff for the Southern Baptist church, but I was cute enough to pull it off. I went on to sing in various church and school choirs. I was kicked out of some of those choirs for various and sundry reasons, but nothing that would stand in a court of law.
In 1984, I landed my first recording contract. I was a senior in high school. And as is more likely to be the case than not, my sizzle done fizzled.
Still, I persevered. By 22, I had been sought after and rejected by every major record label — same as the Beatles, so I felt I was in very good company.
There is a much longer tale to be told, but, for our purposes, I’ll just get on with it.
By the time I’d turned 30, I had forged what would become a bona fide genre: Worship. Worship, as a genre, was not part of anyone’s vocabulary in 1992. We had Gospel and Southern Gospel: The Gaithers, BJ Thomas, and even Debbie Boone.
Still, music in church every Sunday was being sung from hymnals. Many will argue these to be the good old days, and you’ll get no argument from me. I miss hymnals. There were beginnings and endings for songs, melody lines to follow, and, for the most part, darn good theology.
But I was forging something new in the Church (hymnal-less), and it took hold. I ended up raising all four of my kids in the world of music as a bread-winning, touring, record-making musician. For more than two decades, my life was making records and touring.
Then, in 2005, I moved to Texas. PUMP BRAKES. I worked at a local church and was given permission to tour two weekends per month. It didn’t go well. Again, there is a longer more salacious story to be told — another time.
In 2010, I moved to East Dallas with two of my kids (the others had graduated high school already) and worked my tail off for a new, remote campus of Highland Park United Methodist. Munger Place Church soon became its own thriving campus, always under the protection of HPUMC.
I was Munger’s music director and, after 10.5 years of good work, I retired last year.
With the musicians I was finding to create Munger’s church band came the birth of The Kate Miner Orchestra. What fun it was to recreate songs I had written during my touring years in this new time of my life.
The job is gone but the band lives on!
Back up just a touch.
In August 2019, my precious grandson, Shepherd Cash Riddle, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I’m not smart enough to go into detail about DMD but I can tell you that Shep (8 years old) will die an excruciating death after suffering for years from his muscles falling away from his bones and ligaments, likely before his 20th birthday. He is still ambulatory, but we are watching that decline at an alarming rate.
Also: he has freckles and dimples that will send you to the moon. He is a precious wonder that boy.
Six months after Shep’s diagnosis came The Pandemic.
All the momentum my band, The KMO, had been enjoying came to a screeching halt.
That got me to thinking: Since I won’t outlive my grandchild, what can I do? How can I make a difference? What needs to be done? How do I change the narrative? What do I have in my toolbox?
First, I knew that God was calling me to be hope for my daughter. I will carry the hope while she, her husband, and their three other kids live with the reality of DMD.
But what can be done to help 300,000 little boys afflicted with this evil disease?
I pictured my band and my backyard (remember, no clubs thanks to Covid). For two years now, The KMO has been hosting cocktail parties in my backyard. We sell tickets, the band plays their hearts out, I provide an open bar, and voila — we’ve raised $90,000 in two years for Cure Duchenne, my nonprofit of choice.
I thought the second half of my life would find me vacationing and playing mahjong with the ladies. Turns out, I still have a job to do. It will require all the energy and elbow grease I garnered in my youth. It will be energizing and gut-punching and exciting and heartbreaking.
But there’s no people like show people.
Let’s go! On with the show!