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Without Him

Mylon LeFevre

This song is not necessarily considered a hymn, but the words are so relevant that I want to include it in my collection of stories behind the song.

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     Mylon Rae LeFevre was born on October 6, 1944 into a family of southern gospel singers, “The LeFevres”. Mylon grew up learning to play the guitar and began singing with his family at the age of five. In 1962, at the young age of seventeen, Mylon graduated high school and joined the Army. He was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, earning a meager income of $84/month. It was during the tough days of learning army life that he wrote his first song, "Without Him.”

Later that same year, his parents were performing at a gospel convention in Memphis, Tennessee and his mother urged Mylon to get a weekend pass to join them. They wanted him to sing his new song.

     Mylon was able to secure a weekend pass but didn’t have money to buy a bus ticket, so he hitchhiked 600 miles to join his family. He arrived at the concert Saturday evening with barely enough time to step up on the stage and sing his song, “Without Him”.

     The song was enthusiastically accepted. Unbeknownst to Mylon, someone in the audience requested to speak with him at the conclusion of the concert. This person was Elvis Presley. Elvis loved the song and asked permission to record it. It appeared on his next gospel album, “How Great Thou Art” and Elvis would win a Grammy award for this album.

     “Without Him” became a very popular song, especially after Elvis recorded it. The song was recorded on 126 other albums by numerous artists. But the commercial success of Elvis’ recording of the song meant instant success for Mylon. The first royalty money that Mylon received on that song from Elvis was $90,000. And the money kept coming in.

     With his newfound success, Mylon turned from gospel music to rock-and-roll and began a self-destructive lifestyle of alcohol and drugs. After years of living on the edge, his health began to deteriorate. He finally realized that the words to the song he wrote when he was 17 years old held true for him today.

     In 1980 Mylon attended a concert of christian contemporary music and was so moved that he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. In his autobiography, “Live Forever”, Mylon said of that night, “Even in my stoned stupor, God’s love began to crumble the walls of defense I had built around my heart. As the evening progressed, I started to weep as I sensed His perfect peace all around me. Finally, I found what I’d been looking for my whole life—the sweet holy presence of god!”. At the end of the concert, Mylon prayed. He later stated, “I made that prayer mine and I have never been the same since”.

     

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Mylon LeFevre would become a pioneer in Christian rock music. Today, he takes joy in preaching and teaching the word of God.

WITHOUT HIM

Without Him, I could do nothing
Without Him, I'd surely fail
Without Him, I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail

Without Him, I would be dying
Without Him, I'd be enslaved
Without Him, life would be worthless
But with Jesus, thank God I'm saved

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today?
Please don't turn Him away

Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him, how lost I would be
Without Him, how lost I would be