An Evening of Music at Covenant Manor, Golden Valley, September 7, 2001.

by Phil Johnson

Marlene and Bob Bach provided a musical evening for residents and guests of Covenant Manor. The couple has engaged in a ministry of music for a number of years and they have made several recordings which are available on both cassette and CD.

Glen Wiberg flanked by Marlene and Bob Bach

Perhaps some of you remember the Palermo Brothers, Phil and Louie. Some may remember Chief White Feather and some Royal and Edsel Lindquist. These men toured the country filling churches with musical evangelism. They sang in the Holler (which became South International Falls and then International Falls, Minnesota) Mission Covenant Church. I loved them all. I especially liked it when they would tell their personal stories. I went to the special meetings featuring these gentlemen without complaint and they frequently stayed in our home. My deepest love of all was Chief White Feather. He always stayed with us when he was in town and he and I became friends. His drink of choice was prune juice and milk; it became my favorite, too. The Thursday evening service was the high point. Chief White Feather, son of Sitting Bull, former opera singer, would don his magnificent Chief's feathers and fill the room with song. His feathers reached all the way to the floor! The Chief and I wrote to one another regularly for awhile. In this correspondence, he talked about the idea of taking me on a trip to New York City with his son who was about the same age as I. The trip did not materialize but I treasure my wonderful dreams of it .

As years passed, I lost contact with Chief White Feather. The same goes for the Palermos and the Lindquists. Meanwhile, the Bachs have stepped forward as contemporary musical evangelists. They have been busy the last several years performing like they did at Covenant Manor and making recordings with Marlene singing and Bob playing the piano. The program on this evening was enriched by a surprise appearance of the venerable Glen Wiberg of the Covenant Hymnal Commission fame and author of "Sightings" (page 7). He joined Marlene in several songs and the two sounded as if they were longtime singing partners.

Though there was no altar call like their predecessors practiced, the entire program was a witness to the love, goodness, and faithfulness of God. The Bachs stand in this rich tradition of blessing people personally through music. So it is not surprising that the residence for the Bachs' stay in the Twin Cities was arranged by Phil Palermo and that Louie himself was at the concert.

Phil Johnson is Editor Emeritus of Pietisten.

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