UNION — Everyone who has heard Amy Silvers House sing wants to hear sing again, regardless of where that is.
A lifelong Union County resident, House has been an employee at 1st Franklin Financial for around 10 years. However, all around town, she is primarily known for one thing — her voice.
Those who have heard House perform at church and local events since she was a small child have been left in awe, and they ask her to sing, no matter the time or place.
“I have to sing when I vote; when I pay taxes; sometimes I have to sing for my dinner,” House said.
House was four years old when her family first realized her talent for singing. It happened during an everyday trip with her mom, Minnie Silvers.
“She was going to USC Union, and I was going to the daycare behind it,” House said. “She said, ‘let’s go,’ but I wouldn’t get out of the car. I said, ‘I’m singing my song.’ It was ‘Elvira’ by the Oak Ridge Boys.”
After that, when she was old enough to read, her family began giving her music to sing. She enjoyed chorus and music classes in school, and she fondly remembers her music teacher at Excelsior — Mrs. Zora O’Dell — giving her her first solo, which was “Frosty the Snowman.”
It wasn’t until receiving advice from her father, Gary Silvers, that House had an epiphany — one that taught her the importance of originality.
“I remember my daddy giving me a tape of the first song I learned for church, ‘One Day at a Time,’” she said. “He said, ‘Go practice and when you’re ready, let me hear it.’”
After a short time, House had learned the song and returned ready to sing for her father. She performed for him after memorizing what was on the cassette.
“He said, ‘That was good, but you sang exactly like she did on the tape. This time, I want you to do your thing,’” House said. “That taught me a lot. That taught me to be original. Anybody can sing like another artist. That moment was life-changing for me; I wouldn’t have known to do that.”
House grew up singing at Duncan Acres Baptist Church and then Calvary Assembly. She said her aunts on her dad’s side of the family had a talent for singing, and she even formed a group with her two sisters, Debbie Silvers Harris (now of Greenwood) and Bonnie Silvers Duncan (of Santuc).
“I was probably around 9-10 when I realized I could hear harmony parts,” she said. “My older sister Debbie could do that, too. Bonnie usually sang lead.”
They called themselves the Silver Bells.
House said she feels her voice and confidence have grown over the years. She remembers being nervous during a talent show when she was a student at what then Sims Junior High School.
“There were 18 of us, and I was last,” she said, explaining that before the Saturday night show, each of the students performed one minute of a song.
“I was nervous backstage. I went out and sang the first verse and chorus, and I thought, ‘Wow! They’re not turning my tape off. I was only supposed to sing for a minute. The teacher told me to keep going, and they let me sing the entire song during the assembly.”
House said her family has always been supportive, and she laughed as she talked about her father not letting her be a cheerleader for fear that the screaming involved would damage her voice.
House continues to perform around the area and beyond. She received a standing ovation after singing “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” at this year’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Sims Middle School. She also sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at Friday night’s Union County Relay for Life event. She often performs at weddings, and recently she was able to perform at the Bellagio in Las Vegas during the American Financial Services Association National Convention. She sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “In God We Still Trust” just before guest speaker Mike Huckabee took the floor.
House now has the support of her husband, Michael, to whom she has been married for 18 years; her 16-year-old son B.J.; and her three-year-old son Mikey. She has led music for 18 years in churches around Union — currently at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Buffalo.
She said her son has begged her to audition for The Voice or The X Factor, and although she said she may, she is content where she is.
“If the Lord wants me to lead music and stay here in Union for the rest of my life, it’s okay with me,” House said.
House said she loves all genres of music, but she only likes to perform Christian music — whether it’s contemporary Christian or southern gospel.
“I’ve used my voice for the Lord pretty much all my life, and when I sing secular songs, it doesn’t sound right to me,” she said. “I guess my heart’s not in it. But I love all genres — most music lovers do.”
House said she is often asked if she has had formal vocal training, and her reply remains the same.
“No, God just gave it to me.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.