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George Beaverly Shea has sung many times a song written by Rhea Miller. It was George’s mother who started the whole course of events when she left a copy of Miller’s song on the family piano in their home in New York City. Years later, George Beaverly Shea wrote: "Instead of practicing the hymn I had intended to play that Sunday morning in Father’s church, I turned to a poem that Mother had placed on the piano. The melody just seemed to form around the words. When I had played and sung it through for the first time, Mother came from the kitchen where she had overheard. She wrapped both arms around my shoulders and placed her wet cheek next to mine. In church that morning, I sang for the first time, 'I’d Rather Have Jesus'." (George was only 21 years old at that time.)

Born in 1909 in Canada, young George was raised in a home where each morning he was awakened by the voice of his mother singing and the piano playing, “Singing I Go.” Little did either one know that 30 years later that song would be the theme for George’s radio program on WMBI in Chicago. In addition to growing up in a home of music, God’s word was always present because George’s dad was a Wesleyan minister.

As soloist for Billy Graham crusades, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” has gone around the ...

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