Throughout their life together, Sidney and Violet Cox used their gift of music to share with and minister to literally thousands of people. Their vocal duets were used to supplement their ministry of preaching and teaching in many different venues.
In their early adult years, they were considered extraordinary vocalists. Both had trained as soloists and they performed separately to many large congregations of Salvation Army officers and followers. As the years went by, they ceased performing as soloists, but instead continued to offer simple, vocal duet renditions of Sidney’s compositions.
Their purpose in singing together was not the “performance,” but to share the simple message of God’s love. They did not sing in large settings to large congregations, but in small preaching, teaching and devotional settings to small groups of people. The song performed was almost always accompanied by a few spoken words about the story behind the song and the message of the song.
The simplicity of their presentation was symbolized by the music accompaniment which they used. They used no complicated scores or musical arrangements. They did not need the services of talented pianists or organists. They only used the gentle sounds of Sidney’s trademark concertina. They never referred to written scores or lyrics – it all flowed from their heart.
Sidney used his composition skills in one unique way – when invited to preach or teach, he would often compose a brief chorus especially for the group who invited him. He and Violet would introduce and teach the chorus to that congregation and by doing so, enabled the attendees to leave with a personal identification to that particular composition.
These duet renditions were all but lost to posterity when in 2009, I found an old audio cassette among my grandfather’s personal effects on which Sidney had written, “Old Duet Music.” What I found was a set of six recorded duets which had become extremely compromised by the passage of almost 50 years. They had all been recorded late in Violet’s life. She died in 1967. With some tedious audio work, including some professional assistance, I was able to resurrect these audios to their current condition – not perfect, but very precious.
J. Douglas Cox, grandson of Sidney and Violet Cox
June 6, 2009
My Lord Knows the Way Through the Wilderness (All I Have To Do Is Follow)
Far Off, Made Nigh
I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord (Forever)
There Will Always Be Grace Enough
In The Twinkling of an Eye
I Am Amazed