Here’s a blast from the past, and just in time to wish an ailing soul well.
It’s a 45 RPM single on the Inkster’s New Sound label, a ditty called “Bless Jimmy Carter.” Sung by Gertrude Ellis, the song was written by Willie Johnson. All we’ve been able to learn about the song comes from one article on Willie Johnson which noted that the former deputy sheriff “was invited by Jimmy Carter to his inauguration ball when Carter was elected president.” The article also noted that he was the writer of the song.
Whether it was performed at the ball, we don’t know. But we do know that the record was cut in 1984, three years after the end of the Carter Administration.
The song probably won’t wow today’s listeners, with its cheesy synthesizer and unironic references to the president’s Christianity and Southern heritage, but, as the former president suffers through cancer treatment, now might be a good time to unearth this old song and put it out there. Bless you, Jimmy.