Back in the 50's there was a well known radio
host/comedian/song writer in Hollywood named
Stuart Hamblin* who was noted for his drinking,womanizing, partying, etc.
One of his bigger hits at the time was
"I won't go hunting with you Jake,
but I'll go chasing women."
One day, along came a young preacher holding
a tent revival. Hamblin had him on his radio show
presumably to poke fun at him.
In order to gather more material for his show,
Hamblin showed up at one of the revival meetings.
Early in the service the preacher announced,
"There is one man in this audience who is a big fake."
There were probably others who thought the same thing,
but Hamblin was convinced that he was the one the preacher
was talking about (some would call that conviction)
but he was having none of that.
Still the words continued to haunt him until a couple
of nights later he showed up drunk at the preacher's
hotel door around 2AM demanding that the preacher
pray for him!
But the preacher refused, saying, "This is
between you and God
and I'm not going to get in the middle of it."
But he did invite Stuart in and they talked until
about 5 AM at which point Stuart dropped to his
knees and with tears, cried out to God.
But that is not the end of the story.
Stuart quit drinking, quit chasing women,
quit everything that was 'fun.' Soon he began
to lose favor with the Hollywood crowd.
He was ultimately fired by the radio station when
he refused to accept a beer company as a sponsor.
Hard times were upon him. He tried writing a couple
of "Christian" songs but the only one that had
much success was "This Old House",
written for his friend Rosemary Clooney.
As he continued to struggle, a long time friend
named John took him aside and told him,
"All your troubles started when you 'got religion,'
Was it worth it all?"
Stuart answered simply, "Yes."
Then his friend asked, "You liked your booze so
don't you ever miss it?" And his answer was,
"No." John then said, "I don't understand how
you could give it up so easily."
And Stuart's response was, "It's no big secret.
All things are possible with God."
To this John said, "That's a catchy phrase.
You should write a song about it."
And as they say, "The rest is history."
The song Stuart wrote was "It Is No Secret."
"It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do f or you.
With arms wide open, He'll welcome you.
It is no secret, what God can do...."
By the way... the friend was John Wayne.
And the young preacher who refused to pray for Stuart Hamblin?
....That was Billy Graham.
* Hamben's name was misspelled
on the original email