The official site of the legendary composer

Dr. Robert H. Young

1923 - 2011

 

Endorsed and approved by his widow, Betty Young, and published as a tribute by Awesomewebs.net as our thanks to Bob for his wonderful music, and to Betty, for sharing him with us.

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Inspiration for Out Of the Deep I Have Called Unto Thee

 

 


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I had the honor of meeting Dr. Robert Young at the Gibson home in Waco, our daughter's in-laws, at an Easter lunch.

 

Rob Gibson introduced me to "Dr. Robert Young," who immediately said, "Hi, I'm 'Bob'."  Being an eternal smart-alec and thinking it interesting that this Robert Young had the same name as Dr. Robert Young, I replied, "Oh, you're trying to make people think you're the famous composer!"

 

Bob grinned from ear-to-ear, and I suddenly realized he was the real Dr. Robert H. Young.  I knew of him, but had no idea he lived in Waco, or that I would ever have the honor of meeting him.  Embarrassed, I addressed him as "Dr. Young" and told him what an honor it was to meet him -- he again reminded me his name was Bob.

 

For several Thanksgivings after that, Bob and Betty (Mrs. Young) joined us at our home in Waxahachie for Thanksgiving lunch.  Friends of the Gibson's, they all came together.

 

The first time he came, he was already rather ill, and we had a CD playing over the sound system in the living room with a choir performing his works.  Betty pointed up to the speakers and asked Bob if he heard what was playing, and he again grinned ear-to-ear.

 

Thanksgiving is a big event in our family, often bringing 30 - 40 people, mostly relatives.  Those attending could not believe they were dining with Dr. Robert H. Young.  They wanted to know how we got someone that famous to come to our Thanksgiving lunch.

 

For those of you who were not fortunate enough to know Bob personally, his musical ability was exceeded only by his personality.  He was a warm, gracious person, a committed Christian, and as long as you weren't a student, he was "Bob."  Chatting with him about music, his motorcycle, or his service in WW-II, you'd never know he was a famous composer ... he was just a very nice guy with a lot of interesting stories.  He was always gracious and didn't know what the word "pompous" meant, although he had every right to be.

 

I've had the honor of meeting a lot of famous people, including Vice-President Dan Quayle, House Speaker Jim Wright, Al Lewis (The Munsters), Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay Cosmetics), and Tom Lester (Eb of Green Acres), but I've never been so impressed as when I met Bob.

 

So, when I refer to Dr. Robert H. Young in this website, most of the time he will be Bob, as that is what he requested, and I'll respect his wishes.

 

Those of us who knew and loved him, miss him.

 

Ray L. Williams, Webmaster, Awesome Webs


Inspiration for Out Of the Deep I Have Called Unto Thee

 

I was blessed to be able to sing under Robert's baton for all the 27 years he served as the chancel choir director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas.  He was a delight to make music with and a dear, caring friend.

 

In 2005, when I lost my son to chronic depression, I commissioned Robert to write an anthem in Andrew's memory.  Robert had known Andrew, and I reflect on them today as kindred, gentle souls.

 

Robert asked me if I had any suggestions for a lyrics source for the piece.  I immediately responded with Psalm 139, my favorite since childhood. Some months later Robert presented me with Out Of The Deep I Have Called Unto Thee, in which he had brilliantly blended Psalm 130 with Psalm 139, culminating with his arrangement of a verse from Isaac Watts' glorious hymn, Oh God Our Help in Ages Past, itself a paraphrase of Psalm 90.  Robert described working on this piece as being a spiritually mystical experience for him.  As you may expect, I cannot listen to it without tears in my eyes, both for Andrew and for Robert.  I believe it was one of Bob's last great compositions.

 

Dr. Donald Bailey directed the Baylor Chamber Singers in a beautiful recording of this anthem in the Armstrong Browning Library, which he then presented to Robert and me on CD.

 

Robert's dear wife, Betty, remains a wonderful friend; we worship together at St Paul's.

 

Piers Bateman


 

 

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