February 7, 2009
By Jan Swoope
After Cinderella Doss'' husband passed away in 1991, there were days the West Point woman felt she could still envision him "coming out from the back of the house," just as he had so many times before.
"Sometimes I''d just look there, and I''d have to tell myself he''s not coming back," the 58-year-old shared. "I could have gone into depression. ... But then, you just get up and you start doing something."
What Cinderella and her six children started doing would have pleased the late Leroy Doss Sr., who was minister to a small church at the time of his death. They began singing.
When the Mississippi''s Best Grassroots concert begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Mississippi State University''s Lee Hall Auditorium, The Doss Family will share the roster with Paul Thorn, Nash Street, Eden Brent and Kent Burnside and The New Generation. The group''s uplifting gospel will add a heavenly dimension to an eclectic lineup of Americana and folk rock, bluegrass fusion, jazz- and blues-inflected boogie woogie and urban blues.
Wanda Doss, at 29, is Cinderella''s eldest child.
"Our mother was left to care for us in our young age. With the help of God, we made it through, and we won''t stop until the Lord calls us home," she said of the musical ministry that began in earnest after the loss of her father.
The Dosses did much more than simply make it through. The six children all attended MSU -- at the same time. "All have graduated except baby sister Carol," stated Wanda, who is currently working toward her master''s degree in instructional technology.
Getting six children through college is a daunting goal. Cinderella, who is named for her late grandmother, is adamant about where she assigns the credit. "I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that God is real, ''cause it was nobody but him. We''ve had some tough times. There were times it just seemed impossible ... but he took the impossible and made it possible."
The siblings include Wanda, 29; Christina, 28; Clarissa, 25; Leroy Jr., 24; Cheryl, 22; and Carol, 21. Clarissa''s daughters, 4-year-old Chelsea and 3-year-old Caryn Doss, are the family''s "future hopefuls."
For more information about the Mississippi''s Best Grassroots concert and art exhibit Feb. 10, contact MSU''s Music Maker Productions at 662-325-2930.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.