What do you get for the man who has everything? Well, for Amy Grant, shopping for Vince Gill can be somewhat of a difficult task. While picking out the perfect Christmas gift can be a yearly challenge, Grant admits that she did knock it out of the park one year in particular… and it was a gift money just couldn’t buy.
“Best gift I ever gave him… Guy Clark was one of his favorite songwriters and Vince was on the original session of a song that Guy recorded called ‘Randall Knife.’ At the time, Guy, I guess he was 40 when he wrote the song, Vince was 25, but the whole song was about a father passing away and all the memories,” she says. “Vince has told the story so many times. He says when they took a break on that session all the musicians were in line for the payphone to call their dads. It just so happened, when Vince was 40 his dad dies. His dad had been a lawyer and suddenly the song was his reality.”
Because of the heartache Gill was feeling, Grant decided to reach out to Clark in hopes of acquiring a special reminder of the song.
“I got Guy’s number through mutual friend and I said, ‘would you handwrite the lyrics to ‘Randall Knife’ and I’m going to frame it, like museum framing, for Vince.’ He said, ‘I’ll send it to you in the mail.’”
She continued, “So I’m just waiting, waiting, waiting and an envelope showed up. He had, with a blade, cut out of his composition notebook, which meant whatever songs that were on the backs of those pages, because in a composition notebook you write it on the two facing pages. He had cut out the original lyric. I mean, I nearly wept. We have it framed in our home and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, no wonder Vince loves this man and loves his memory.’”
While this particular gift was special for the couple, Grant and Gill will share the gift of music as their Ryman Auditorium residency continues through the month of December. Visit the Ryman website to find tickets.