TELL MOTHER I'LL BE THERE |
shows sheet music side by side with hymn history.
less than five prominent musicians and publishers
turned this song down. Finally, the Fillmore Music
House, of which Charles Fillmore was a part, decided
that they would publish it themselves even though
they, too, had some misgiving. A published copy was
sent to Charles M. Alexander, who was the songleader
for Dr. R.A. Torrey. He, too, looked at the song and
wondered if he could ever use it, but decided he would
put it in his briefcase for reference. He carried
it with him for over two years and had really never
thought about the song again until one Sunday afternoon
the meeting was just for railroad men, and Charlie
needed a solo that would speak to men's hearts.
"Where Is My Wandering Boy"
was getting almost threadbare. What else could he
use? His mind went to the song that Fillmore had sent.
He soon found it and that afternoon sang it as an
invitation. Hundreds of men responded and, in the
years that followed, he sang it around the world and
declared that "Tell Mother I'll Be There"
had brought more men to decide for Jesus Christ than
any other song he ever used.
The inspiration for its writing came
from a telegram sent by President McKinley to his
family when his mother was dying and calling for him.
He had wired, "Tell Mother I'll Be There".
Charles Fillmore had read the newspaper account of
this and had caught the idea for a song -- one which
experts thought not good, but one that God would used
to change the lives and eternal destinies of thousands