When one spends some time reviewing the sum of one’s life, one will find that there are many along the path that helps to propel an individual in one direction or another.
Over the last few years I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on those who have made an effort in my life from childhood and into adulthood.
From those who made what seemed to be the most insignificant comment to those who have opened the doors to stardom in the eyes of the world.
For me it has been an amazing journey of reflection. I had someone who was what we might call very spirit aware once tell me that I have many people traveling with me.
While I do not subscribe to that belief in spirits traveling with me, I do think that we build our lives upon those who came before in our family and those who invest in our efforts as we pass through our three score and ten.
I see them in my life as Encouragers and in my time of reflection I have compiled stories about the key people whose lives inspired me and who changed my life through their words or deeds.
When I was finished my review, I was amazed to find the number of stories I compiled with around 150 key figures in television, film, music and everyday life who helped to create the momentum that became my existence.
As I prepared this for a book, it became apparent that the tome was too voluminous for one book and through the advice of a publisher my new book series – Encouragers – was born.
The first of the series “Encouragers I: Finding the Light” released this month worldwide from Peach Picked Publishing shares 49 stories of actors, musicians and everyday folks who played a role in his early life.
The first volume of the series highlights performers such as WSB Barndance stars Cotton and Jane Carrier and Grand Ole Opry star Bashful Brother Oswald; American icon Bob Hope and “Gunsmoke” legend Ken Curtis; country music masters Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash; bluegrass hall of famers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and “The Andy Griffith Show” star Doug Dillard; and heralded gospel music performers the Marksmen Quartet, the Lewis Family and Jeff & Sheri Easter.
You might ask, “What makes your perspective on this individuals unique?” I am simply looking at their encouraging nature in my life and the impact they had. I hope these stories inspire others to share the same spirit of encouragement with the people that they encounter.
If we spent our lives encouraging one another, how amazing our world would be. I think we would see the solutions to endless problems, endless heartache, endless struggle solved simply by the change in daily attitudes by each and every individual.
God blessed me with so many opportunities allowing me to perform for millions around the world, appear for the Grand Ole Opry and star on two American television networks.
Those doors were opened to me because people from all walks of life took the time to encourage me from young age. Even when there was no indication of what my talents would be and where they could lead, encouragers were already sharing their light with me.
Because God put these people in my life, I have shared my gifts to over 145 million people around the world. I could have never imagined that as a boy. I can barely imagine it as an adult as I look back on three TV series including my role as “Officer Randy Goode” from the TV series “In the Heat of the Night,” and 14 films as well as appearances at major country, folk, bluegrass and gospel events such as Country Music Association Fan Fair, National Folk Festival, National Quartet Convention, National Black Arts Festival and for the Grand Ole Opry.
This 364-page book includes over 260 photos including 149 special Moments in Time photos featuring over 100 stars from Garth Brooks to Marty Stuart, Loretta Lynn to Alison Krauss from Randall’s personal collection and 49 celebrity, family and friend recipes.
“Encouragers I : Finding the Light” is available for $25 including postage and handling or by mail at Randall Franks, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 and through book outlets around the world. Fans may also like the series on and learn more on the Encouragers I, II and III Facebook page.