Urban Report

Personal Testimony

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Jesse Boyce, Asieren Boyce


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000232A

00:01 Stay tuned to meet a couple whose lives were transformed
00:03 by the power of the Holy Spirit
00:05 through the witness of little Richard.
00:07 My name is Yvonne Lewis.
00:09 And you're watching Urban Report.
00:34 Hello, and welcome to Urban Report.
00:37 Recently, Danny Shelton and I interviewed Little Richard
00:40 and in the audience was his close friend
00:42 and bass player, Jesse Boyce.
00:44 Jesse and his wife Asieren
00:46 consented to do an interview as well.
00:48 Jesse is a phenomenal musician
00:50 and a Dove and Grammy Award nominee.
00:52 He studied classical piano, organ, electric bass guitar,
00:56 and drums at Sterling High in Greenville, South Carolina.
01:00 He and his wife Asieren love the Lord,
01:03 and have started keeping the Sabbath
01:05 due to Richard's influence in their lives and of course,
01:09 the Holy Spirit's promptings.
01:11 I was so impressed with the Boyces
01:14 and wait till you find out about their journey.
01:17 Take a look at this.
01:20 This is a first for Urban Report.
01:23 We never have an audience.
01:26 And now today, we have an audience
01:27 so what a blessing it is to be here.
01:30 We are actually in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
01:34 And earlier, Danny and I interviewed Little Richard.
01:39 And right now I have the privilege of interviewing
01:43 Jesse and Asieren Boyce.
01:45 Yay! Thank you.
01:48 Thank you, Yvonne. Oh, yes, thank you.
01:51 Now, Jesse, you have such a unique testimony
01:56 because you have been with Little Richard
02:00 also we call Brother Richard, Brother Richard Penniman.
02:04 You have been with him for so many years,
02:06 tell us about...
02:07 First of all, let's find out about your journey.
02:10 Where were you raised? Where were you born?
02:13 What was your life like before you became a musician?
02:17 As long as I can remember, I've always been a beginner
02:24 as a musician because I started playing,
02:28 as the little Richard talked about black folk music
02:33 which was called R&B prior to that
02:35 it was black folk music.
02:37 The music that became what we now know
02:44 as country music was then black folk music.
02:48 I see. I never heard it called that.
02:50 I never heard it called black folk music.
02:51 Yeah, it started out with the old black musicians
02:59 who played the blues and with some of the same riffs
03:03 and things like that.
03:05 And I was born in Asheville, North Carolina,
03:11 Buncombe County, moved to Greenville, South Carolina,
03:15 where when I became cognizant of who I really was.
03:22 I knew my name and became really involved
03:26 with my family.
03:27 I had an uncle who played that kind of,
03:30 that style of music, who had a...
03:32 What we call back then a string band.
03:35 A string band was very similar to
03:38 what you would see on Hee-Haw...
03:40 Oh, wow. Back then.
03:43 And he had one where we would travel on weekends
03:48 in the trains with the amber lights,
03:53 it was very dim on those lights at night,
03:55 but I can remember as a child traveling all over the South
04:03 and Northeast going to play with them.
04:10 And what instruments did you play?
04:12 I started out guitar just playing
04:17 I had a little red guitar.
04:20 And my uncle took such an interest in me
04:23 because I stuck with him 24\7.
04:29 When he would fish on weekends, I was there even though
04:32 I made up a bunch of noise and he couldn't catch one fish.
04:36 I just wanted to be near him and learn from him
04:39 because I was so happy that someone took
04:45 an interest in me and wanted to teach me how to play music.
04:49 So instead of having to take his guitar all the time
04:54 when we were at home,
04:55 he would turn the big acoustic piano around
04:58 so I could learn to play while he played.
05:03 And so when my family realized
05:06 that I had an interest in piano as well,
05:10 they insisted that I take piano.
05:12 So I learned to play classical music
05:16 up until age maybe 17 or 18 through high school.
05:22 But I wanted to play everything that I heard
05:25 on the radio particularly, Little Richard.
05:30 So you were familiar with Little Richard
05:33 before you even went to play in his band.
05:36 I was very much familiar. You were a fan.
05:39 And I would say, maybe around age 12, 13,
05:44 he used to come to Greenville.
05:47 And he would come to stay with one of his favorite musicians
05:53 as he said he would come and practice with and hang out
05:57 with this gentleman by the name, Esquerita.
06:02 And whenever I could sneak in on a rehearsal,
06:06 if I couldn't get any closer than the front porch,
06:08 I just wanted to see what they were doing.
06:10 Yeah, yeah.
06:12 Because they they had to going on that thought
06:15 and I learned a lot from the two of them
06:19 in that regard.
06:22 So that got me interested in and I wanted to play music
06:28 as a jazz musician as well, as a church musician.
06:33 So I started playing at church at age of 11.
06:38 We had a family group called, the James family.
06:44 We used to travel around.
06:46 We used to open up for the people
06:47 like Shirley Caesar, Sam Cook, the five black boys.
06:53 Yeah.
06:55 All these groups that would come through,
06:58 we feel so blessed.
07:01 I was like, "I can't believe I'm doing this."
07:03 But because someone took an interest in me
07:06 and mentored me, I was able to do that with my family.
07:11 So skipping ahead, I did get to play with some major acts
07:19 who came to our town...
07:20 Such as?
07:22 The impressions, Jackie Wilson, Mary Wells, Major Lance...
07:29 Oh, yeah.
07:31 People like that who had come through,
07:32 they would look for the younger musicians
07:35 'cause they don't have to pay as much.
07:38 And when they have musicians that were missing
07:41 or couldn't make the show, they knew who to call.
07:46 So they would call on us
07:47 and so I got the exposure early, early, early.
07:53 By getting that exposure it prepared me
07:56 for what would happen maybe it was so years later
08:04 which is where I met Little Richard in 1970.
08:08 Wow.
08:09 And I was in the hospital, in Muscle Shoals,
08:15 I had gotten a position there with Rick Hall,
08:20 a FAME recording studios.
08:22 If you've ever seen the movie Muscle Shoals,
08:26 you'll see some maybe some cool little shots of me
08:32 being like real skinny with a...
08:34 Some hair.
08:36 With some hair and all of that.
08:38 And my point being is that I was ill when Richard came,
08:43 I was so upset.
08:45 I had bronchitis and pneumonia.
08:49 And when Richard realized that I was not there,
08:54 he insisted that I come.
08:57 They told him I was in the hospital.
09:01 And I got a word that he insisted that I be there.
09:05 So I said, "Okay, I'm going." What?
09:09 You sent yourself out of the hospital?
09:10 I sent myself out of the hospital,
09:13 made it over to the studio of FAME Recording Studios
09:16 and played on this great record called The Real Thing.
09:22 And it has some other great, great records on there as well.
09:26 But it was one, this record Richard allowed us
09:29 to compose along with him in the studio.
09:34 After the session was over, Richard called myself
09:40 and few members into his room and he said,
09:43 "You guys are so good.
09:45 You made my record so much better
09:48 than it would have been."
09:49 He said, "I just want to thank you, baby."
09:52 You know, and he was so nice and he said,
09:58 "I want to ask you something."
10:01 He said, "Would you consider going on the road with me?"
10:05 And I said, "Wow."
10:09 That was like a dream come true for you, isn't it?
10:10 Oh, I'm like...
10:12 I've heard him saying I've watched him
10:14 on black and white TV.
10:17 I've heard him do "Whoo!"
10:19 Yeah. You know, all that.
10:21 I said, "I just need to check with my family,"
10:24 Check with my family.
10:27 So once I did that,
10:29 and they thought that it would be okay.
10:34 I took full advantage of it and he moved us to California.
10:39 And then we spent most of our time in New York
10:43 because that's where most of the work was.
10:46 So the journey with Little Richard,
10:50 I must say exposed me to the music industry
10:55 in so many different ways.
10:58 I had access to the rest of the world
11:01 because we traveled everywhere.
11:04 But I want to jump to something that I think
11:07 is really crucial to share with you
11:10 about watching Little Richard and how you impacted my life
11:15 as a musician because even when we were on the road,
11:19 I was in the church.
11:22 Going to church on Sundays, you know.
11:24 And I thought, "How am I going to continue
11:29 to manage this 'cause we had to go out on weekends.
11:34 And kind of found out
11:36 that Little Richard went to Sabbath.
11:40 And I was like, "Thank God."
11:43 So every Sabbath, we had a chance to go to church.
11:48 I didn't get to go every time, because I might be overwhelmed,
11:53 tired or whatever,
11:54 but every opportunity that I had.
11:58 My clothes were ready the night before.
12:01 'Cause I knew that the van would be waiting outside
12:05 and blown for us regardless of what was going on.
12:08 So we had an opportunity to travel around the world
12:12 and still be in church in that environment.
12:17 One of the major things that happened
12:19 during that process was that Little Richard called on me
12:23 and asked if I would put a band together for him.
12:25 This was later on say like '83, '84.
12:31 I was in college.
12:33 And I skipped, because
12:35 this is the next major thing that happened.
12:38 When Richard came off the road and stopped playing R&B
12:45 and rock n roll, he called me first.
12:49 I was in college and he said,
12:51 "Jesse, I would like you to go back to Muscle Shoals
12:54 and put a band together for me."
12:58 I'm like, "Me?
13:00 You want me to put a band together for you?
13:03 Yes, I can do that."
13:05 So I went back to Muscle Shoals,
13:07 I got Travis Wammack, I got Wayne Chaney,
13:10 all these great musicians from Muscle Shoals.
13:13 And what's his name, Wammack...
13:18 Travis.
13:19 Travis Wammack and we went, the first...
13:22 Then we did was California.
13:25 And then he felt so good about what we had done
13:29 and putting the band together.
13:30 And was this playing gospel or was this playing R&Bs?
13:33 This was playing R&B. Okay.
13:36 But then like he said he was kind of like back and forth
13:41 at that point.
13:43 When he got his first opportunity
13:45 to do a gospel album,
13:48 it was the most exciting thing that could happen for him.
13:52 Yes.
13:54 He invited me again to put the show together
13:59 and the music together and write the music
14:02 to go do a gospel album in Europe, okay?
14:08 So here I am in Europe with Little Richard
14:10 and we're doing a gospel album and they were insisting on him
14:16 doing some R&B on this record.
14:19 He didn't want to.
14:21 And the enemy was so emphatic about him warning him
14:27 rather to do some Rock n Roll.
14:30 And he said, "I didn't come here for that.
14:33 I came here to give God the glory.
14:35 You said that you...
14:37 We were going to come here and do a gospel record."
14:42 And they kept the pressure on him
14:45 for like four, five days.
14:48 And he called me to his room and he said,
14:50 "Jesse, I can't do this.
14:52 I've made a commitment to God
14:54 and I'm going to stick to this."
14:57 And he said, "I know that I can make more money.
15:00 They'll add another 50,000 or whatever."
15:05 But he stuck to it and he said, "You know, what I'm going to do
15:08 and I'm not telling anyone else.
15:10 But I'm leaving."
15:12 He made sure that we had access to a ticket home
15:17 and all that but he had to leave to come
15:21 from beneath all of the pressure
15:24 about doing this record.
15:25 But that's when he had the wreck.
15:27 You remember? Mm-hm.
15:29 He had the wreck.
15:31 After he left Europe?
15:32 Yeah, so he left Europe.
15:34 He was so afraid that someone was going to try to hurt him.
15:39 I mean, really, you know, messing with him physically
15:42 or whatever he...
15:44 Drove his car back to...
15:48 He went rather into the airport to pick up his car.
15:52 I think he had...
15:58 it's a little sports car.
16:00 And he wrecked it.
16:02 And that's when he got...
16:03 Messed up his knees, and all that stuff
16:05 what you just see him struggling with now.
16:08 Because his battle with the enemy was that
16:11 if you don't do what I say to, then I'll take you out.
16:15 And that's sometimes is what we have confronted
16:19 with as Christians.
16:21 From confronted with giving up our lives.
16:25 Yes.
16:26 Sometimes, when we don't do what the enemy says
16:28 and Richard had made up his mind
16:31 to say no regardless to what it took.
16:33 Yes.
16:35 How did seeing him take a stand for Jesus,
16:39 how did that impact your spiritual work?
16:42 It impacted in every way because I took the same stance.
16:48 All right. From that point.
16:51 And I saw that God can deliver you
16:57 from intimidation, sickness,
17:02 and anything else that may come against you.
17:05 We want you to choose God 100%.
17:08 And it changed my life because when I saw him
17:14 with his tongue cut off.
17:17 And he is and literally his tongue was cut off.
17:22 The enemy meant to take him out so that he can never sing again
17:26 but look at him now.
17:28 Yes. Praise the Lord.
17:29 Do you see what I'm saying. Yes, indeed.
17:30 So to be able to look at an example of a man
17:34 who was willing to walk away
17:37 from everything for Jesus Christ.
17:40 Yes. Yes.
17:42 How can one not follow
17:44 such a serious disciple as this man.
17:48 Praise the Lord.
17:49 So I started to change my own transition
17:56 and I went back to Seminary.
18:00 Had a great business, we're making hit records,
18:05 dance records, and reassigned Bobby Jones,
18:11 and some of you may know him, we had Shirley Caesar
18:15 on our label and all of that, but we stopped, right?
18:19 And we went to college.
18:23 And we graduated from undergrad and then I went to Vanderbilt
18:27 and then I went back and taught college.
18:30 All right. All right?
18:31 And then... So did you kind of leave...
18:34 I have to bring in Asieren here
18:36 because she hasn't said anything.
18:38 I have to find out how she responded to...
18:43 My calling and all that. Yes, to your calling.
18:46 Well, you know, it was very, very easy for me
18:50 even though Jesse and I had not discussed his calling,
18:55 I saw the change in him and it did coincide
19:00 with Richard's stance.
19:03 And when Richard made, he took his stance
19:06 and his position on what he was going to do.
19:09 And I'll never forget one Sunday morning
19:11 we were in worship.
19:13 And Jesse was playing the organ.
19:16 Church was over and they had extended
19:18 the invitation of Christ and all of a sudden
19:22 Jesse got up from the organ and he began to walk across
19:26 the front of the church.
19:28 And I knew right then I'm going to tell you exactly
19:33 what I felt like, it felt like
19:35 I was a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
19:39 And as he moved, I moved.
19:42 And without, it was just burning up in my spirit
19:46 and in my heart.
19:47 And when he made that commitment,
19:50 I just couldn't see that my husband
19:52 would make that commitment.
19:54 And then he was in Seminary right away
19:58 and I began to study with him right away
20:02 because I needed to understand how to maintain this oneness.
20:07 Not sameness, but we won't want to call it.
20:11 Which is a very good distinction
20:16 because you are one.
20:18 Yes, exactly right.
20:19 There might be some areas that in which you don't agree.
20:21 Yes.
20:23 So it's not sameness per se but it is one in Christ.
20:27 Yes. One in Christ.
20:28 And I watched it happen.
20:30 I watched it happen and then
20:32 as I began to know Richard more,
20:35 I understood why Richard called Jesse his son.
20:40 And I understood why Jesse respected Richard as his dad.
20:47 You know, and they had, you know,
20:49 if Jesse talks to me now he loves his parents, you know,
20:54 his biological parents, but he will often tell me
20:57 that Richard molded him.
21:01 You know, he spiritually grounded him.
21:05 And he modeled walking what you talk.
21:10 And so many shows that I'm setting in where Richard
21:14 in the middle of the show he had an audience
21:17 right in the palm of his hands.
21:20 And he took an opportunity to minister in the moment.
21:23 He did not allow that to escape him.
21:27 If you want to know me, then you need to know
21:31 about this guy that I serve.
21:32 Yes. Yes.
21:34 Right in a moment
21:35 and the crowd would just respond.
21:37 And he had an opportunity to do that
21:40 over and over and over and over again.
21:44 And he didn't care if it was a small audience,
21:47 in the airport or if he had 60,000
21:51 in the audience doing a concert.
21:52 Absolutely. Yes. Yes.
21:54 He took advantage
21:55 of every opportunity God gave him.
21:57 Praise the Lord.
21:58 And you know that comes from the Holy Spirit
22:00 impressing on Him to share.
22:03 If something is good you have to share.
22:05 That's true. God is good.
22:06 Yeah.
22:08 And he reached outside of themselves
22:10 and was just sharing.
22:12 Yes.
22:14 But, you know, before we go because I can't believe
22:17 our time is running out.
22:19 It's okay.
22:20 What is your main challenge right now?
22:22 What's going on with you right now
22:24 and how is God helping you through this time?
22:28 Well, I think the next major thing
22:33 that happened in our lives was in 2003,
22:39 I was told that I had cancer.
22:43 Did you hear what I said?
22:46 I said 2003.
22:49 Fourteen years now. It's 14.
22:52 Amen. Amen.
22:54 Amen. Praise the Lord.
22:55 Amen.
22:57 When I made the announcement to Little Richard,
23:01 he just kind of fell apart because we were so close.
23:05 He has another brother also who had gone
23:07 through the same thing and he did chemo.
23:11 And Richard was so distraught about that
23:12 because he saw it taking Robert's life
23:17 and that's what chemo is, it's a chemical.
23:21 So point being is that when I shared that with him,
23:26 he was so upset but he was very supportive
23:30 at my operation.
23:33 And I'd gotten well to where I could function.
23:37 He said, "Baby, I want you to travel back to London
23:41 with us and I'm going to have Asieren go with you,
23:45 so he can help take care of you."
23:48 But I didn't like that even that
23:50 before when we came out of the hospital.
23:53 Richard was there. Yeah.
23:56 From the...
23:57 Anointed Jesse from the top of his head
23:59 to the soles of the feet.
24:01 Yeah.
24:02 He came to our house on Thanksgiving Day.
24:04 Yes.
24:06 He could have been with his family
24:08 but he chose to come and see.
24:11 I think he was with his family. He ministered.
24:13 Yeah.
24:15 And so by him doing that and that still being able
24:20 to keep it together and go out
24:23 and still play and things like that.
24:27 We stayed close.
24:29 Now I still have cancer.
24:36 But before we go off the air, I want you to know
24:38 the cancer doesn't have me.
24:40 Come on. Come on now.
24:42 That's right.
24:46 Amen.
24:47 And it taught me watching Richard in pain every day.
24:53 Yeah.
24:55 He would acknowledge his pain but he would never say.
24:58 It's got me down.
25:00 He has never said it pained, I mean, amidst of so much pain,
25:04 but I can't do nothing today.
25:07 I have never heard him say, "Oh, it's so painful,
25:11 but I can't make it to church."
25:14 He's never said that, "I'm in so much pain
25:17 that I don't know if I can do this today."
25:20 I would watch him get up from his sick bed every day
25:26 and he still does it.
25:28 How could not one have the tenacity and the courage...
25:33 That's right.
25:34 ...to get up every day and say, "Yeah,
25:37 I have pain but pain doesn't have me."
25:40 Yeah.
25:41 Shut up.
25:45 And we really have, I mean, it's like he's carried us
25:49 on his wings even through Jesse's most recent, you know,
25:53 incident of him being in critical care,
25:56 it was not a day.
25:58 Yeah.
25:59 That when I was at my most vulnerable,
26:01 that I was at my weakest,
26:03 that I was at Jesse's feet praying,
26:06 that Richard was not covering me
26:10 and supporting me and lifting Jesse up.
26:13 And when Jesse couldn't hear him,
26:15 I would have the phone to Jesse's ear.
26:17 As Richard prayed us through, encouraged us to move on
26:22 just a little while longer.
26:23 What she's referring to is that.
26:28 I died.
26:29 Oh, my...
26:31 I died and I was resurrected.
26:35 Praise God. Did you all hear what I said?
26:39 I stopped breathing.
26:41 And God brought you back.
26:42 And God brought me back to be the testimony.
26:45 Yes.
26:47 That allowed me to...
26:50 the courage to just get out today
26:52 because I'm not feeling my best today.
26:55 Yeah.
26:57 But when you are in a situation where God shows
27:03 everybody around you what God can do.
27:05 Yes.
27:07 You know, if you just have that next level of faith
27:10 and you just get on up anyway.
27:12 Yes.
27:14 It can raise you well.
27:16 Yes, indeed.
27:17 He can raise you not only from your sick bed,
27:20 but from your death bed.
27:21 Yes. Amen. I'm the living witness.
27:25 That's why I'm still here because my journey now
27:29 has more to do with me having a testimony.
27:32 Yes. That's right.
27:33 That I have to continue until God says when.
27:37 And I can't end it on a better note than that.
27:40 Thank you so much.
27:42 May God continue to bless you and restore you.
27:46 Thank you.
27:48 Thank you so much. Thank you.
27:49 Thank you so much for inviting us.
27:50 Thank you, Richard. Thank you.
27:52 Thank you.
27:53 Wow!
27:55 What a wonderful couple they are.
27:56 Well, join us next time
27:58 because it wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2017-09-26