"Gospel music is the purest thing there is on this earth".
"My mother, she never really wanted anything. She stayed the same through it all. There are a lot of things that's happened since she passed away. I wish she could have been around to see them. It would have made her very happy and proud, but that's life, and I can't help it".
"I never felt poor. There were always shoes to wear and food to eat -- yet I knew there were things my parents did without just to make sure I was clothed and fed".
"I don't know why she had to go so young. But it made me think about death. I don't feel I'll live a long life. That's why I have to get what I can from every day".
"My voice is God's will, not mine".
"The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one".
"Talent is being able to sell what you're feeling".
"The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image".
"When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times...I learned very early in life that: 'Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend -- without a song.' So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you".
"People ask me where I got my singing style. I didn't copy my style from anybody. Country music was always an influence on my kind of music".
"Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it you have it all over".
"Hollywood had lost sight of the basics. They're a lot of fancy talkers who like to pigeonhole you".
"I'm so lucky to be in the position to give. It's really a gift to give".
"We were an affectionate family. My mother was the most wonderful person in the world. I always felt a little bit lonely --- maybe a better word would be 'incomplete' -- when I was little. But I could tell my mother about it, how I felt and then the feeling would go away. I suppose it might have been different if my brother had lived. But he didn't live, and I grew up alone. I guess my mother --- and my father, too, of course -
were trying to make up for that by giving me enough love for both".
"You only pass through this life once; you don't come back for an encore".
"I enjoy reading. I don't usually read the type of books other people read. I read a lot of philosophy and some poetry. I just read a book 'Leaves of Gold.' It's by different people and their different philosophies on life and death. That type of stuff interest me, getting these different people's opinions".
"A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business… live concerts".
"Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine".
"I have no use for bodyguards, but I have a very special use for two highly trained certified public accountants".
"Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside".
"The most beautiful thing in the world to me is a baby lookin' as pretty as her mama".
"I'm not kidding myself. My voice alone is just an ordinary voice. What people come to see is how I use it. If I stand still while I'm singing, I'm dead, man. I might as well go back to driving a truck".
"Every time I think that I'm getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens".
"Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth".
"I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess".
"Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity".
"We do two shows a night for five weeks. A lot of times we'll go upstairs and sing until daylight… gospel songs. We grew up with it. It more or less puts your mind at ease. It does mine".
"I've never gotten over what they call stage--fright. I go through it every show. I'm pretty concerned, I'm pretty much thinking about the show. I never get completely comfortable with it, and I don't let the people around me get comfortable with it, in that I remind them that it's a new crowd out there, it's a new audience, and they haven't seen us before. So it's got to be like the first time we go on".
"Ma'am, I'm not tryin' to be sexy. Ah didn't have any clear idea of trying to sell sex. It's just my way of expressin' how I feel when I move around. It's all leg movement. I don't do nothin' with my body".
"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to".
"I don't want to read about some of these actresses who are around today. They sound like my niece in Scarsdale. I love my niece in Scarsdale, but I won't buy tickets to see her act".
"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away".
"The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about. I didn't realize that my body was moving. It's a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, 'What'd I do? What'd I do?' And he said, 'Whatever it is, go back and do it again".
"Sometimes I get lonesome right in the middle of a crowd".
"I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to".
"Don't criticize what you don't understand, son. You never walked in that man's shoes".
"There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent".
"I believe in the Bible. I believe that all good things come from God. I don't believe I'd sing the way I do if God hadn't wanted me to".
"Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it".
"I ain't no saint, but I've tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God. I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world".