My favorite thing about Faith Flix is being introduced to folks I’d never meet otherwise. so I was pretty excited last month  when I got a message from Michael Warren, an actor from our movie The Good Book, asking if I knew the band David and the Giants? Of course! They were one of my favorite bands growing up. I went to their concerts every chance I got. He told me the drummer was a friend of his and asked would I like to interview him. Definitely! Then he told me not only was Keith Thibodeaux the drummer for David and the Giants, but he was also Little Ricky on I Love Lucy and Johnny Paul Jason on The Andy Giffith Show. I couldn’t wait to be introduced and to get to learn more about him. Now I’m excited to share with you the fascinating story of his life as a child actor as well as the amazing testimony of how David and the Giants went from rock band to Christian band. 

Let’s start at the beginning. Tell us about your first television role and how you happened to land it.
Well, I was a professional drummer at the age of four years old on the Horace Heidt Show which was a touring big band variety show that had a hiatus in California. It came about that they were holding auditions for the I Love Lucy show for the part of their son Little Ricky. Lucy looked at me and said, “He’s cute .. but what does he do?” My dad said, “Well he plays the drums”, and so there was a drum set, and I played and drew attention from people on the set. Desi himself came over my way and began jamming with me on the drums, and he stood up, laughed, and said, “I think we have found Little Ricky”!

What was it like as a child working with Hollywood greats?
They were great! Lucy would tell the crew when I was on the set absolutely no cussing. They were both very complicated, talented, and passionate people who loved what they were doing and expected everyone else on the set to know what they are doing.

What was the greatest challenge with being a child star? The loneliness of being the only child mostly on the set. My teacher for the show was Catherine Barton who was just a wonderful lady and also taught Ron Howard on The Andy Griffith Show. I played his best friend Johnny Paul on that show and was awesome when I got to be with other kids and we could just play but our teacher Miss Barton was the best!

What advice would you offer to parents wanting their child to be a star?
If they have it in them, they will prosper in it. I would say pray hard about putting your child in show business. It is a fantasy world that if the parents are pushing it, and the child is not really into it,  it could be damaging. Even if the child loves it, it can be devastating to them in auditions where they are rejected. Other advice I would give is to make sure you have a backup plan for what you want to do in life.

What led to the transition from TV star to rock band?
My parents divorced and we moved back to Louisiana which is where I was born and I pursued a music career. Played in local bands and then met David and the Giants when I was sixteen, who were at that time a rock band in Mississippi. We continued our friendship, and then three years later they asked me to join them as their drummer.

At this point in my life after my parents separated I wanted to be as far as I could be from the limelight of Hollywood. My father worked at Desilu studios and had an affair with a secretary there, and so I blamed all of our family problems as a result of moving to California with me.

Tell us about the transformation of David and the Giants from rock band to Christian rock.
I had my fill of sex drugs and rock and roll lifestyle and eventually became depressed and then suicidal. I had no purpose I felt, and nowhere to go. I believed in God but had traveled into darker interests and with the sex, drugs and all that went with that I cried out to God in my despair and said “If You can save me out of this pit, I will serve You” My mom invited me to some prayer meetings in my hometown, and I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and went back to the band and told them about my experience. I kept witnessing to all of the guys in the band, and eventually, they all were born again and believed in Jesus! From that point, we believed we could play our music and praise God at the same time with godly lyrics.

What keeps you busy nowadays?
I play with David and the Giants. We just recorded our first full studio cd since 1989 when I left for a while. The name of it is “What Are You Waiting For”.  We still play and recently did a concert in Lakeland Florida with the band Petra, and in May of 2018 did a concert tour in the Philippines.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share about?
We began a company, trainee program and school in Curitiba, Brazil for Ballet Magnificat Brasil. We have a 3 story building and are almost finished with renovations and remodeling. Our Ballet Magnificat USA will be touring Europe in April and May 2019 and another of our companies will perform in Cuba and Mexico.

Other than that Kathy and I love spending time in Nashville with our daughter Tara and our grandson Bryson!.

Anything else?
God is good and Faithful

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.

3 comments

  1. Thank you for your posts! So glad to meet these wonderful people through your interviews and get to glean a little from their wisdom and experience. Keep up the good work!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: