A gospel music marriage

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Something not on the program happened last Sunday night at the &uot;Gospel Explosion 2004&uot; concert, sponsored by Montgomery-based First Lady Productions. Mike Dillard, owner of One Stop Record Shop did a little improvisation.

He proposed to his business partner, Yvette Bullard, during the course of the concert

Bullard hosts a morning show on Montgomery’s WZHT FM 105.7 and teaches at Central High School in Lowndes County. Earlier she taught at the former Selma Middle School.

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The event, the first ever in Selma for First Lady, which was founded by Bullard in 1989, was held at the Old National Guard Armory on West Dallas Avenue. It attracted a crowd of 1,300 gospel aficionados who came to hear well-known gospel music artists The Williams Brothers, The Canton Spirituals, and Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s. According to Bullard, despite some inclement weather, fans came from as far away as 100 miles.

Bullard said she was off-stage involved with administrative duties related to the show, when someone came and said Harvey (Watkins of The Canton Spirituals) wanted her to come up on stage.

Bullard said she had no idea what was happening.

So she walked out onstage, thinking that some kind of presentation was being made to her by the singing groups for having put together the show in Selma.

Then Mike Dillard was summoned to the stage.

She said that Dillard began by thanking those present for coming out and then said he had a personal testimony to offer in the form of a song &045; and he began singing &045; about how she had befriended him three months before, how grateful he was for her friendship, and then he went down on his knees, she said, and sang, &uot;Will you marry me?&uot;

Bullard said she was not totally taken off guard by the proposal. She and Dillard had discussed it and he had asked her parents’ permission in advance of the event.

Bullard said that she immediately responded yes, followed by his request for a kiss, which she gladly granted.

It turned out that her parents and best friend were there, along with a considerable group of well-wishers from Montgomery, Lowndes County and Selma.

And, she said, the immediate circle of family and friends knew the proposal was coming and had worked very hard to keep it from her &045; and so it seems they were successful.

Bullard said, &uot;I will never forget that particular concert. I was just melted.&uot;

A percentage of the ticket sales will be given to a Selma charity.

Bullard said that discussions were under way and a decision would be made soon and announced.