Tag Archives: Ministry

#329: CCM Guys at the Beginning

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #329, on the subject of CCM Guys at the Beginning.

Last time we covered the ladies of the eighties, a conglomerate article to help us get through everyone I think ought to be mentioned.  This time we’re doing the same with some of the guys.  This is a very broad shot here.  Some of these gentlemen had virtually faded into obscurity by the time I reached the radio station, others were barely on the scene when I left it.  Undoubtedly some of these people have a much bigger place in contemporary Christian music than would appear from my coverage of them; they simply weren’t that significant during the years when I was immersed in the industry.

I am starting with Randy Matthews, because he was someone known to me for one song long before I reached the radio station, from whom I never heard anything else.  Yet his Didn’t He, released in 1973, was a classic in Christian rock music maybe before there were contemporary Christian radio stations.

For years I knew of Randy Stonehill only as one of the early Christian musicians connected to Larry Norman.  I still don’t know any of his early work.  However, when I was at the station we received his album The Sky is Falling, and for some reason we focused on the rather goofy song Bad Fruit as the song to play.  I remember nothing else from his career.

Richie Furay was a very successful secular rock musician before he started doing Christian material, having been a founding member of both Buffalo Springfield and Poco.  I remember his Myrrh releases I’ve Got a Reason and Seasons of Change, but not well enough to recognize any of the titles on them; I find very few in video form, and none that I remember.

Darrell Mansfield also appears here as a name I remember without any other information.  He released several records with his self-named band, and was in the band Gentle Faith.  I’m not sure we ever had any of his work at the station.

We did have a couple albums from Denny CorrellStandin’ In the Light, How Will They Know, and Something I Believe In.  His bluesrock sound is captured in this song, the last cut on the last of those albums, Changin’ My Heart.

Mylon LeFevre was born into one of those Southern Gospel family bands, and sang with them.  His first song was picked up by Elvis, and then by many others, making him wealthy overnight; he sang with other bands, but in the sixties was attempting to launch something in the vein of Christian contemporary/rock music, for which there was not yet a market despite the rising Jesus movement.  He became involved in drugs which nearly killed him, and then returned to a clean life, and in 1982 released the first album with his new band, Broken Heart, entitled A Brand New Start.  I was unable to find any recognized cuts from this online, but the band continued producing albums through 1990.

I encountered them on stage at Creation ’82, where I was working stage crew and reporting for the radio station.  In setting up the band had placed a small amplifier behind LeFevre for his electric guitar; there were two other guitarists in the band who were working with the sound crew.  The head of the sound crew asked about plugging LeFevre’s guitar directly into the main system, which the guitarist declined, and then the suggestion was made that the amp could be miked, again declined with the explanation that LeFevre’s drug use had seriously damaged his ability to play, and the guitar was really more of a prop so he would have something in his hands while he sang.  Still, the band was impressive, and he could still sing.

Every morning during the times when we weren’t twenty-four hours our radio station came on the air with Johnny Fisher, and his All Day Song from his 1974 release Still Life, reportedly his third album but his first on a recognized label (Light).  I remember the release of his 1982 Dark Horse album on Myrrh, which I remember was good, but can’t find any cuts from it online; in a drawer somewhere I have a promotional T-shirt from that album which no longer fits.  I might have the album itself on vinyl somewhere, but I’m afraid I don’t have a good catalog of my record collection.

Carman first reached us with his self-titled Priority Records release in 1982.  It had a neo-rock-‘n’-roll sound reminscent of Elvis, of which Some-O-Dat was the memorable cut.  Then sometime within the next year we received a promotional single of a live version of a really clever and rapidly popular song, Sunday’s On the Way.  Not long after an album was released with that title, but the studio version of the title song lacked the life and excitement of the live single, which does not appear to be available anywhere.  The link here is to a similar live performance worth hearing.  I put this down as the best song Carman ever did, although I don’t know most of his career for which there is an album release as late as 2014.

Jazz fusion guitarist James Vincent had released four albums through secular labels before Sparrow Records delivered his 1980 disk Enter In to us.  The title song typified the style, and several other songs from the album are available in online videos.

According to his discography, Tim Sheppard had a couple albums out in the 70s before the release of 1979’s Songtailor, and a couple more in the 80s plus some appearances with other artists in collections, and then one more release in 2017.  I only ever heard Songtailer, and I only remember one song from it–but I remember it, one of the great songs that I still sing in the car decades later, The Fiddler.

Joe English made his name as the drummer for Paul McCartney’s Wings, but in 1980 he released the first of five Christian solo albums (with many often well-known supporting artists), Lights In the World.  I vaguely remember songs like Get Ready, and that for the time the production values were impressive.

I have the impression that Bob Ayala was very popular in other places.  I remember the album cover from Joy By Surprise, which had very strong Narnia imagery.  I was also impressed by the more subtle Narnia imagery of the next album, Wood Between the Worlds.  Unfortunately, I recognize none of the song titles.

Wayne Watson also goes down as someone popular elsewhere, but was one of those “just another solo act” guys for us.  However, his cover of Touch of the Master’s Hand still brings tears to my eyes when I try to sing it, and his later New Lives for Old, while not as memorable, was still good.

I’m not quite old enough to remember Dion and the Belmonts, but I do remember his 1961 rock-‘n’-roll solo hit Runaround SueDion DiMucci had a long and reasonably successful secular career, and then in 1980 hit the Christian contemporary field with the Dayspring release Inside Job.  I am embarrassed to say that I don’t remember any of the song titles from that or the next two albums, both of which were sent to the radio station while I was there, because I not only played cuts from them, I attended a small concert at a local church and had a chat with him afterwards, which I only remember as something we did (my wife with me at the time).  I do remember that he was good, talented and worth hearing.  He has continued to release albums nearly to the present, of which I of course know nothing.

What I remember about Michael W. Smith is that from the beginning with The Michael W. Smith Project in 1983 my mind connected him to Amy Grant.  I can’t even tell you why.  I can tell you that he is still around, and I hear him on the local Christian stations from time to time with new material.  The track lists from his early albums ring no bells.

I’m sure there were a lot of other male vocalists at the time; these are the ones that came to mind for whom I didn’t think I could do a whole article, but I’ve got more on the list ahead.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple Andraé Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.
  32. #304:  Accidental Amy Grant.
  33. #312:  Produced by Christian and Bannister.
  34. #315:  Don Francisco Alive.
  35. #324:  CCM Ladies of the Eighties.

#328: The Song “Still Small Voice”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #328, on the subject of The Song “Still Small Voice”.

I liked this song, ranking it number 7 for quality of the song; Tristan had it tied for his number 5.  The problem was in the quality of the recording and performance, which was hampered by a number of foolish mistakes.

There is a version of this available on Collision Of Worlds which is probably better than this.  I opted against it because Jonathan sings it, and while it’s good, that was 2012 and he was a much better singer a few years later–and although I’m including some recordings from that album, it didn’t seem right to use one I didn’t sing and he didn’t sing quite as well as he would later.

The problem was I didn’t have another recording that wasn’t buried in a long concert tape, and I needed one.  I recorded this in my living room, and made a couple of rookie mistakes.  One is that I was a mere few days out of the hospital and not fully recovered, and it’s a demanding song to do solo; I’m not sure it’s a great performance.  The other is that I recorded it on a recorder with automatic level control (ALC) in a room in which an air purifier was running.  The air purifier wasn’t really noticeable as background noise, but when the music stops it comes to the foreground fairly quickly.  I should have anticipated that, but I didn’t realize that the recorder had ALC (which I also should have realized).  I think I was twelve or thirteen when Jay Fedigan and I recorded something on a cassette deck with ALC, and we hit a cold ending which was immediately followed by the ticking of a clock we had not even realized was in the room.  Put it down as stupid of me.

The recording is here.  It’s not a bad recording, but that I wrote the song, with help from Tyler Choniger, for 7dB, where we had three vocals, and so it’s missing at least two, not to mention a rhythm guitar and other instruments.  We only had two of us singing for the Collision recording, although we were going to add a third.  If I were doubletracking in a studio I would make it four.  As it stands, You’ll have to imagine at least one more.

I had written most of the chorus, but for the last line, when I brought it to Tyler, and I thought it was going to echo some of the ideas from Walkin’ In the Woods, about churches failing to deliver what people need.  Tyler suggested that the opening words should close the chorus, and then I started writing the verse.  He wanted to include the D69add4, so we slid up to it in the middle of the verse; I thought that sliding from the CM7 to the D69add4 was becoming almost cliche (I did it in Holocaust, that I clearly remember) and so on the bridge I decided to go the other direction, which gave us the descending feeling in the chord progression, which went well with the overall theme of struggles in the song and gave the idea for the “sinking feeling”.  Its history is told in slightly more detail on the Collision website notes on the song.

In the original version we counted out the beats for a measure’s pause after the bridge.  Jonathan didn’t like that, so eventually I changed it so that he would start that last chorus when he felt it and we would all come in on his cue.  That’s more the way I do it in this recording.

The vocal cadenza at the end was intended to be a freeform ad lib cadenza, and I hope it sounds like that, but I don’t really do improvisational cadenzas all that well and find I do much better by experimenting with the music and writing one.  Thus this is the cadenza as I always sing it, although I suppose technically if someone wanted to sing something different that would be within the parameters of the song.  I happen to like this one very much.

Still Small Voice.

So here are the words:

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.

The pressures of life are closing in;
Temptations are luring me to sin.
My problems are tearing me apart.
I feel like I’m dying in my heart.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

The deadlines are coming way too fast;
Before I can reach them they have passed.
I’m struggling to get things up to speed,
With too many mouths I need to feed.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

I know that God is on the throne,
And yet I have this sinking feeling.
I know He calls me for His own,
And so I reach to Him for healing.

There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.

  There’s a still small voice, God is calling to me
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  Ev’rything is in control.
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  He is on the throne, calling for His own, He will not abandon me,
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  He calls my name, He leads me on, tells me where to go,
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  I can hear that still, small, still small voice speaking to me speaking to my
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  Soul, the still small voice of God, Holy Spirit, let me hear your
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
  Voice, loud and clear, small and still, from the heart of God,
There’s a still small voice speaking softly to my soul,
  The still small voice I hear.
And the still small voice tells me God is in control.
It’s not in the thunder, not in the pyre,
Not in the lightning, not in the fire,
Not in the sermon, not in the choir.
There’s a still small voice.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain”

#325: The 2019 Recap

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #325, on the subject of The 2019 Recap.

Happy New Year to you.  A year ago I continued the tradition of recapitulating in the most sketchy of fashions everything I had published over the previous year, in mark Joseph “young” web log post #278:  The 2018 Recap.  I am back to continue that tradition, as briefly as reasonable, so that if you missed something you can find it, or if you vaguely remember something you want to read again you can hunt it down.  Some of that brevity will be achieved by referencing index pages, other collections of links to articles and installments.

For example, that day also saw the publication of the first Faith in Play article of the year, but all twelve of those plus the dozen RPG-ology series articles are listed, described, and linked in 2019 at the Christian Gamers Guild Reviewed, published yesterday.  There’s some good game stuff there in addition to some good Bible stuff, including links to some articles by other talented gaming writers, and a couple contributions involving me one way or another that were not parts of either series.  Also CGG-related, I finished the Bible study on Revelation and began John in January; we’re still working through John, but thanks to a late-in-the-year problem with Yahoo!Groups that had been hosting us we had to move everything to Groups.IO, and I haven’t managed to fix all the important links yet.

At that point we were also about a quarter of the way through the novel Garden of Versers as we posted a Robert Slade chapter that same day, but that entire novel is indexed there, along with links to the web log posts giving background on the writing process.  In October we launched the sixth novel, Versers Versus Versers, which is heating up in three chapters a week, again indexed along with behind-the-writings posts there, and it will continue in the new year.  There are also links to the support pages, character sheets for the major protagonists and a few antagonists in the stories.  Also related to the novels, in October I invited reader input on which characters should be the focus of the seventh, in #318:  Toward a Seventh Multiverser Novel.

I wrote a few book reviews at Goodreads, which you can find there if you’re interested.  More of my earlier articles were translated for publication at the Places to Go, People to Be French edition.

So let’s turn to the web log posts.

The first one after the recap of the previous year was an answer to a personal question asked impersonally on a public forum:  how did I know I was called to writing and composing?  The answer is found in web log post #279:  My Journey to Becoming a Writer.

I had already begun a miniseries on the Christian contemporary and rock music of the seventies and early eighties–the time when I was working at the radio station and what I remembered from before that.  That series continued (and hopefully will continue this year) with:

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it is evident that the music dominated the web log this year.  In May I was invited to a sort of conference/convention in Nashville, which I attended and from which I benefited significantly.  I wrote about that in web log post #297:  An Objective Look at The Extreme Tour Objective Session.  While there I talked to several persons in the Christian music industry, and one of them advised me to found my own publishing company and publish my songs.  After considerable consideration I recognized that I have no skills for business, but I could put the songs out there, and so I began with a sort of song-of-the-month miniseries, the first seven songs posted this year:

  1. #301:  The Song “Holocaust”
  2. #307:  The Song “Time Bomb”
  3. #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal”
  4. #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods”
  5. #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe”
  6. #320:  The Song “Free”
  7. #322:  The Song “Voices”

I admit that I have to some degree soured on law and politics.  Polarization has gotten so bad that moderates are regarded enemies by the extremists on both sides.  However, I tackled a few Supreme Court cases, some issues in taxes including tariffs, a couple election articles, and a couple of recurring issues:

I was hospitalized more than once this year, but the big one was right near the beginning when the emergency room informed me that that pain was a myocardial infarction–in the vernacular, a heart attack.  Many of you supported me in many ways, and so I offered web log post #285:  An Expression of Gratitude.

Most of the game-related material went to the RPG-ology series mentioned at the beginning of this article, and you should visit that index for those.  I did include one role playing game article here as web log post #303:  A Nightmare Game World, a very strange scenario from a dream.

Finally, I did eventually post some time travel analyses, two movies available on Netflix.  The first was a kind of offbeat not quite a love story, Temporal Anomalies in Popular Time Travel Movies unravels When We First Met; the second a Spike Lee film focused on trying to fix the past, Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies unravels See You Yesterday.  For those wondering, I have not yet figured out how I can get access to the new Marvel movie Endgame, as it appears it will not be airing on Netflix and I do not expect to spring for a Disney subscription despite its appeal, at least, not unless the Patreon account grows significantly.

So that’s pretty much what I wrote this year, not counting the fact that I’m working on the second edition of Multiverser, looking for a publisher for a book entitled Why I Believe, and continuing to produce the material to continue the ongoing series into the new year.  We’ll do this again in a dozen months.

#324: CCM Ladies of the Eighties

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #324, on the subject of CCM Ladies of the Eighties.

The number of people in Contemporary Christian and Christian Rock music back in the early eighties didn’t seem all that large, but as I’ve been working through those I remember I perceive that it will take a long time to get through even all those I think worth mentioning.  Thus I decided to do some conglomerate entries, naming and briefly recalling many who probably deserve more attention than I am offering but not from me.  There are a lot, and this article will be substantial because of that, but we’ll break them up, ladies first.

Melissa Manchester, 1975

We featured Evie Tornquist Karlsson when we wrote about Ralph Carmichael, as her version of Pass It On (linked there) probably made the Kurt Kaiser song famous.  Evie is one of several female vocalists whose career began when she was single who then married, kept the maiden name in the middle and added the married name.  Her first album, Everything Is Beautiful, had its US release in 1971 when she was fourteen years old, then was released in Norway two years later; she had four releases in 2007, but they appear to be compilations released in Norway.  She did mostly middle-of-the-road covers of contemporary hits from many artists, but also had a substantial Norwegian career.  Her husband was a Norwegian singer-songwriter.  I remember her for Give them All; my wife won’t take me to the local shopping center for fear I might break out singing Give the mall to Jesus.

Sandi Patty, sometimes Sandy, sometimes Patti, is another contemporary MOR vocalist who did mostly covers, but did them well.  I once characterized her as the Linda Rondstadt of Christian music–great range, fabulous voice with soaring highs, could have sung opera or pretty much anything she wanted.  This early live rendition of How Majestic Is Your Name demonstrates some of her talent.

Twila Paris came from one of those family gospel singing groups, and recorded her first album, Little Twila Paris, in 1965 when she was about seven years old.  She did not record another one until 1980.  She received numerous awards over the course of her career, but I confess I know her name but do not remember a single album or song.

Lilly Green was a singer-songwriter whose third and final album, I Am Blessed, was the only one I ever heard–but the fourth song, Crucify Him (this video has a bit of dead air at the beginning) quickly became a favorite.

Micki Fuhrman‘s third and final album, Look Again, came out in 1981, and I found a favorite song on it as well–so much so that decades later when I saw a cassette copy of the album I bought it to listen in my car.  The song is entitled I Stick With Winners, and is a clever take on why faithfulness.  There were several other good songs on that disc, but I’ve got a lot of girls to cover here.

Looking over Cynthia Clawson‘s discography I recognize nothing but one song, on an album I never saw–but I know it was released to radio stations as a single, under the title Take Us Home for Christmas, and it’s a wonderful Christmas song which at the time was something new and different.  I remember it decades later as one of those new Christmas songs that were worth the vinyl.

On that same subject, Pamela Deuel Hart made Always Christmas the title song of what appears to be her debut album, an otherwise undistinguished collection of familiar Christmas music.  Regrettably, this song, which recalls a notion from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, that it was always winter but never Christmas until He turned her life around so it is always Christmas and never winter, does not appear on a web search for videos.  She released several more albums, but I never heard any of them.

Kelly Willard was one of those artists whose name came into my head but to whom I could make no connection–until I looked up her discography and immediately recognized the title song of her debut album, Blame It On the One I Love, a light jazz-influenced contemporary hit.  Kelly is also known for a duet she did with the previously-covered Paul Clark, Woman…The Man That I Love.

Karen Lafferty released a few albums through Maranatha Music, but her best known song is not on any of them.  Rather, Seek Ye First appears in several multi-artist collections focused on worship music.  I remember it well, because it was used by one of our local ministries as the opening theme of their radio show.  It was one of the first popular songs in the worship music genre, at a time when evangelistic songs were still preferred but slowly fading and a lot of Christian music was moving toward exhortation.

Jamie Owens released two albums under her maiden name, Laughter In Your Soul and Growing Pains.  The latter included the song The Victor, which Keith Green heard and recorded, pushing Jamie to success in the field as the song was picked up by The Second Chapter of Acts and became a standard.  Then she married her producer Dan Collins as they were working on her album Love Eyes.  It, and all her subsequent albums, was released under her name Jamie Owens Collins.  During that time, she managed to write the song Daniel which appears on the album, and to produce it herself without his knowledge, and then arrange for the recording to be played when she walked down the aisle at their wedding.  Unfortunately, no video version of the song was found online.

There were a few albums in our radio collection by Janny Grein, and I recognize the covers for Free Indeed, Covenant Woman, He Made Me Worthy, and Think On These Things–what I don’t recognize is any of the song titles, but I do recognize that she was a Christian folk artist with a long career.

I remember Kathy Troccoli every time I hear another New York-style huge voice alto (think Bette Midler).  The chorus of the title song of her debut album Stubborn Love has stayed with me all these decades, with its lush broadway-style production and her powerful voice coupled with the uplifting message–if you’re not listening to all the linked songs in this article, you probably do want to listen to this one.

Every time I hear the name of Casting Crowns lead vocalist Mark Hall, I wonder if he’s possibly the son of a girl for whom we had two albums.  The first must have been Flying, because it’s the only album listed under her maiden name, Pam Mark, but by the time she released her second album, This Is Not a Dream, she was Pam Mark Hall.  I don’t remember any titles from either of those albums, but her album Never Fades Away has a familiar look and sound, with several familiar song titles on it.  These include Little Miss Much Afraid (with what sounds like Fireworks‘ Marty McCall supporting vocals), Lord of the Starfields, and others not available on video.

I recognize enough Reba Rambo album covers that we must have had a stack of them at the station, including her first, the 1969 release Reality, although I recall no titles from that.  She was more of a contemporary southern gospel artist, but borderline.  I remember the standard He Looked Beyond My Fault (And Saw My Need) from 1971’s Songs My Mother Taught Me, The Land of Oohs and Ahs/Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the title song from from 1977’s Lady, and a couple songs from The Lady Is a Child.  A few of the intervening albums don’t look familiar, but I remember the album Dreamin’.  It appears that her last release was 1982’s Lady Live.  In 1980 she married Dony McGuire, and they released several albums as a duo through 1987.

In creating this list I remembered the name of rocker Leslie Phillips, who later recorded as Sam Phillips and Sam Burnett.  Her album Beyond Saturday Night in 1983 pushed the envelope a bit for solo female CCM vocalists, as demonstrated by Put Your Heart In Me, and I vaguely remember the 1984 album, title song Dancing With Danger.

I’m adding one more artist to this list.  We never played anything, nor indeed had anything, of hers at the radio station, and I can’t vouch for her faith (which she cryptically attributed to the influence of, of all people, Paul Simon).  She was a member of Bette Midler’s backup band The Harlettes before launching her solo career, but Melissa Manchester recorded one song on her 1974 Bright Eyes album that was an expression of faith that most Christians never heard.  Oh Heaven (How You’ve Changed Me) (a slightly different arrangement from the album version, but well done live).  Although when I arranged it for my friend Sue Adams Kirkegard (RIP) I changed the words to the last line of the last verse (to “You’ve got to ask Him in yourself”), it’s still a great song that should be remembered.

That’s not all the girls–we already did articles on Honeytree, Amy Grant, quite a few ladies who were part of larger bands but had separate careers (Sandra Crouch, Tremaine Hawkins, the girls of 2nd Chapter of Acts), and we’ve got at least one more still on the list.  These, though, manage to cover a lot of those who deserve to be included but for whom I would be hard-pressed to remember enough to support a separate article.

I’ve got one for the boys coming up.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple Andraé Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.
  32. #304:  Accidental Amy Grant.
  33. #312:  Produced by Christian and Bannister.
  34. #315:  Don Francisco Alive.

#320: The Song “Free”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #320, on the subject of The Song “Free”.

For those at The Objective Session for The Extreme Tour this year, this is the song of which I sang the first verse and chorus at the composition seminar that gleaned such a positive response.  The entire song is here.

I ranked this number 6 as far as best songs go, and number 3 on quality of recording and performance, but Tristan did not include it in his list at all, which dropped it down to number 6 on our combined list.  Still, it is one of our top choices, and particularly when I am going solo, since if you hadn’t noticed three of the previous four songs require multiple vocals to work at all.  (The ranking system is explained in connection with previous web log song posts, linked below.)

Free.

This was also far and away the most difficult song Collision recorded or performed, and in every way.

When we performed it on stage, I always arranged the program such that after this song I would have a moment to catch my breath, as I was always winded after playing bass and singing.  The transition to the bridge isn’t so bad when singing and playing guitar, because they are in sync; but the bass part requires playing three eighth notes into the bridge while the vocal is a quarter note, and hitting both of them was always a challenge.  In the studio–this recording is from the Collision EP Of Worlds–we didn’t get past the second verse on the first take, and it was probably my fault, but to solve it I decided that we would lay the instrumental tracks first and I would go back to add the vocals, the only song we recorded that way.  So unaccustomed was I to singing without playing an instrument that at one point, again probably going into the bridge, I swung my hand wide with my eyes closed and almost knocked over my bass guitar.  So it was tough for me.

I know it was tough for Kyle getting the fast changes on the guitar, but he managed it.  I wrote some very complicated piano parts for Jonathan, and he didn’t play them exactly as writ but he got the feel of it beautifully.  I’m sure, though, that he never took his eyes off the keys, because it was a very demanding part.

As to Nick on drums, well, he always made everything look easy, and he managed the changes between three-four and four-four brilliantly, but a couple years later when Nick left and we were auditioning another drummer, the new guy listened to this recording and said, “Of course, you double-tracked those drums.”  I’m not a drummer, but I confess being very surprised and told him no, Nick played that on one take.

Because the song was recorded by Collision there is already a page on the Web which discuss it, here, including the story of its origin.

Free!
Jesus came and Jesus made me Free!
Jesus came and gave His life to me.

I live a life that pleases my Father up above
I try to live a life of love.
I listen for His Spirit; He speaks and I obey.
I know there is no other way!

Free!
Jesus came and Jesus made me Free!
Jesus came and gave his life to me.

He filled me with His Spirit to fill me with His Word,
The greatest thing I ever heard.
And I can see a promise in each divine command,
For this is what He says I am!

Free!
Jesus came and Jesus made me Free!
Jesus came and gave his life to Me!

What’s written in God’s Word–
I know it may sound quite absurd, but
God is going to do that in my life!
I know it may sound odd,
But it’s already done by God
He did it when He gave me Jesus Christ.

Now I don’t have to worry; it won’t depend on me.
My Lord has won the victory
And so I take each promise, believing what He said,
For He has raised me from the dead!

Free!
Jesus came and Jesus made me Free!
Jesus came and gave his life to Me!
Jesus came and Jesus made me Free!
Jesus came and gave his life to Me!

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe”

#315: Don Francisco Alive

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #315, on the subject of Don Francisco Alive.

We mentioned previously (in connection with Dallas Holm) that sometimes an artist’s work becomes overshadowed by a single song.  This happened to Don Francisco twice, despite having quite a significant body of valuable material apart from that.

His debut album, Brother of the Son, featured a wonderful country song with a powerful message, No Condemnation, which I played quite a bit despite my general dislike for country music.  In fact, when it was overshadowed by later work I still attempted to get it on the air, because I thought the message important.  However, few remembered it for long after more songs were released.

His second album, Forgiven, had a wonderful song which got a lot of initial airplay, a live resurrection day story from Peter’s perspective entitled He’s Alive, which really was better than anything he’d done already.  It climbed our charts quickly.

Then for no apparent reason, listeners turned away from it, wanting to hear a different song, the last song on the album, Adam, Where Are You?.  It was stylistically similar, focusing on the Garden of Eden and the Fall.

He released several other excellent songs, usually similar in style to these, including the title song of his next album Got to Tell Someone, and of the following album The Traveler.

All of those songs still move me, some to tears.

Don continued to record and sing for years; he released a live concert album in 2016.  I never heard anything else from him, though, as I was no longer connected to the CCM scene.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple Andraé Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.
  32. #304:  Accidental Amy Grant.
  33. #312:  Produced by Christian and Bannister.

#314: The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #314, on the subject of The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods”.

My wife and I collaborated with Bob Weston on two songs, both of them extraordinary.  The first, Holocaust, was already posted (links below); this was the second.  I listed it as my number five favorite song (music and lyrics) and the number six best recording (performance and technical); Tristan included it in his “tied for fifth” list.  It is about how churches confuse the simple gospel message, under the title:

Walkin’ In the Woods.

Although Collision: started working on a three-voice version of this when Sara joined, it never reached the point of performance ready.  There is a discussion of how it came to be written there; the line about “read the big book” was discussed, and we passed up “good book” in favor of the image of the large bibles on lecturns in many churches.  This recording was done with the Digital Orchestra program, all the instruments midis, the vocals mine.  The complex interaction of the vocals was always part of the song from the day it was written; TerraNova performed it, and the lyrics are:

Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,
Try’n’ to find my way back home;
Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,
Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.
Runnin’ into people, say they’ll show me the way,
Take me to the edge of the pit and walk away.

Don’t walk away from me,
Don’t leave me standin’ here all alone!

This one tells me how to look and what I ought to say,
That one tells me what to eat and when to pray,
This one tells me only what I should not ever do.
Who is going to tell me what is true?  What is true!?
Searchin’ for the truth, and all I find is more lies.
Shepherd, are you try’n’ to pull the wool over my eyes?

Don’t tell me how I gotta dress for your show!
Don’t tell me how I gotta look if I go!
Just tell me what I gotta know!

Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,
  (I’m try’n’ to find my way back home)
Try’n’ to find my way back home;
Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,
  (I feel I’m really all alone)
Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.
Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,
  (I’m try’n’ to find my way back home)
Try’n’ to find my way back home;
Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,
  (I feel I’m really all alone)
Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.

Who can tell the shepherds from the wolves?
  (You gotta have a program.)
Who can tell the shepherds from the sheep?
  (You gotta take a close look.)
Who can tell the shepherds what to do?
  (But are they list’ning?)
Who can tell the shepherds are asleep?
  (You gotta read the big book.)

Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering
(Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,)
sheep of my pasture, declares the Lord.
(Try’n’ to find my way back home;)
Therefore, thus says the Lord God of Israel
(Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,)
concerning the shepherds who are tending my people:  You have
(Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.)
scattered my flock, and driven them away,
(Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,)
and have not attended to them.  Therefore, I am about
(Try’n’ to find my way back home;)
to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,
(Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,)
declares the Lord.
(Try’n’ to find my way,) get it right, get it right.

Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,
  (I’m try’n’ to find my way back home)
    {Don’t walk away from me}
Try’n’ to find my way back home;
    {Don’t leave me standin’ here all alone,}
Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,
  (I feel I’m really all alone)
Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.
  {Don’t walk away from me}
Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night,
  (I’m try’n’ to find my way back home)
    {Don’t leave me standin’ here all alone,}
Try’n’ to find my way back home;
  {Don’t walk away from me}
Wishin’ that I had just a little bit of light,
  (I feel I’m really all alone)
    {Don’t leave me standin’ here all alone,}
Try’n’ to find my way, get it right, get it right.
  {Don’t walk away from me}

I’m lost and need to find the way.
I’m lost and need to find the way.

Walkin’ in the woods in the middle of the night.

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal”

#306: Versers Refocused

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #306, on the subject of Versers Refocused.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first four novels, Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel, Old Verses New, For Better or Verse, and Spy Verses,  in serialized form on the web (those links will take you to the table of contents for each book).  Along with each book there was also a series of web log posts looking at the writing process, the decisions and choices that delivered the final product; those posts are indexed with the chapters in the tables of contents pages.  Now as I have posted the fifth, Garden of Versers,  I am again offering a set of “behind the writings” insights.  This “behind the writings” look may contain spoilers because it sometimes talks about my expectations for the futures of the characters and stories–although it sometimes raises ideas that were never pursued, as being written partially concurrently with the story it sometimes discusses where I thought it was headed.  You might want to read the referenced chapters before reading this look at them.  Links below (the section headings) will take you to the specific individual chapters being discussed, and there are (or will soon be) links on those pages to bring you back hopefully to the same point here.

There is also a section of the site, Multiverser Novel Support Pages, in which I have begun to place materials related to the novels beginning with character papers for the major characters, giving them at different stages as they move through the books.

This is the eighth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 85 through 96.  Previous web log posts covering this book include:

History of the series, including the reason it started, the origins of character names and details, and many of the ideas, are in those earlier posts, and won’t be repeated here.

Chapter 85, Hastings 159

I was pushing to get through the recounting of the previous novels, and finally concluded it.

I had realized several chapters before that Lauren didn’t know the names of any of the people who took care of her, and that this was one of her problems, of forgetting that the people around her were real people and she should care about them.  She hadn’t figured out yet why she was there, partly because she had been focused on getting out of there.


Chapter 86, Brown 174

At this point my challenge was to put the clues in place without giving away the mystery.  I’m not sure how successful I was; at this point it looks obvious to me, but then, I already know the solution.


Chapter 87, Beam 23

I was well behind my outline when I reached this chapter, but it managed to go smoothly and cover more than I expected.  I had already written most of the next two chapters, to give Kyler ideas, but the day I wrote this I had been feeling ill and lost a few hours, and it was late by the time I got this far, so I postponed the others to get more sleep.


Chapter 88, Hastings 160

The problem here is that her life is filled with inconsequential characters, but she can’t treat them like inconsequential people.  That means I can’t just write them off with “he tells you his name”, because names matter.  One of these people might become important; the problem is that she can’t know which one at this point, so they all have to be given equal importance in the text, and I have to burn through and remember a lot of names.


Chapter 89, Kondor 150

I was thinking that I hadn’t made my mystery tough enough, so I was trying to stretch the solution over several chapters.  I’m not at all certain how to resolve the matter—whether there will be a rescue or whether the kidnapper will surrender.  For the moment, though, the plot is still being examined.


Chapter 90, Beam 24

I had been imagining this chapter from the moment Kyler had explained the dysfunctional ring, and had written a substantial part of it in notes as “this is where I think we’re headed here”.  In the previous Beam chapter I had hinted but not actually stated that he put the dragon control ring on the finger on which he had worn his wedding band some years before, because I needed a reason why someone would remove it, and the new wedding ring was the obvious one.

As I recall, Sophia was something of a composite created by our collaboration.  She had to be a redhead because that’s Beam’s weakness (mentioned previously), and she had to be a witch because we needed to give him a support team that had power before the end of the book and he already had a powerful psionicist and a demonstrably weak wizard, plus a superb fighter.  She also had to have a strong personality, the kind who was going to fight with Beam but still love him.


Chapter 91, Hastings 161

I was looking for direction for Lauren, and what occurred to her is what occurred to me.  I’m not yet sure how it’s going to work, but I’m going to lay some groundwork here.

Kyler and I had a discussion about whether Lauren’s identification of Jesus should be capitalized “the Son of God” or left in lower case, “the son of God”.  The argument was that in this instance it was not a title or name but a descriptor, and so did not get capitalized.


Chapter 92, Slade 150

I kept swithering about the raid, on the one hand thinking that this could be resolved without violence, on the other hand thinking that it was going to end badly for someone.  At this point I decided on the raid, partly because I needed some good story and more action, partly because it was the best resolution I could find for the events to this point.  I also decided who was going to die in that raid, and some of the aftermath.

One of the challenges of this chapter was putting the right words in the right mouths.  I had to assume that Vashti was back with the entourage and therefore couldn’t say anything here; that means that the pieces of information about family and culture had to come from people who knew them, pieced together by the legal and logical knowledge of the others.  More than once I started to write something and decided that someone else had to say it.

I had been thinking for quite a while that Derek has to ask Shella to tell Vashti what it would mean for her to marry him and become a verser, but I didn’t want to get into those details too deeply.  I knew that it would be simple to have the actual conversation between the girls offstage, since neither of them are viewpoint characters.  Putting the initial conversation between Derek and Shella offstage as well meant that I could return with Vashti talking about what impacted her from that discussion, without dealing with what she might or might not know otherwise.


Chapter 93, Beam 25

I wrote most of this chapter months before, as the transition from the wedding to the new world, but I had to add material describing what was known of the new world.  I had wanted it to be a place with enough technology that Beam could recharge the Pyronics 2000 and obtain some other high-tech weaponry, with a high psi bias so Bob would be back in form, and a flatlined mag bias so my new witch would be mostly useless.  I tossed around a number of ideas, including the Titanic and another space ship of some sort, but settled on an automated mecha war zone.  The bunker was a good starting place.


Chapter 94, Hastings 162

I had been worrying about how to get Lauren out of this world, but I almost abruptly figured out how to do it.  I started working toward that here, as she shares the gospel with her caregivers.


Chapter 95, Brown 175

The difficulty here was that I wanted to go directly to the interview with Bilhah, but I couldn’t get past the conversation about becoming a verser between Derek and Vashti.

I realized while I was in the middle of this that somewhere I had a resource for titles in different cultures; I just didn’t know whether Caliph was on it.  It was, but the feminine forms weren’t, so I looked them up.


Chapter 96, Beam 26

There were several things I wanted to accomplish in this world, mostly in terms of supplying Beam with needed equipment, also in creating the foundation of a relationship between him and Sophia.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it all, but I decided to start with food.


This has been the eighth behind the writings look at Garden of Versers.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue publishing the novel and these behind the writings posts for it.

#304: Accidental Amy Grant

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #304, on the subject of Accidental Amy Grant.

It comes across as the musician’s dream story.  A sixteen-year-old girl bought some studio time to make a recording for her mother, and a major record producer heard the tracks and contracted her to a major record label deal.  That, in a nutshell, is the story of Amy Grant.

The story is more complicated than that.  Due to his recent success as a producer of Christian albums, Chris Christian had been given a contract to produce five albums a year, and needed artists quickly.  Although he and Brown Bannister did hear Amy’s work in the studio, she also was a member of the church he attended, so he knew who she was.  Although she was indeed sixteen when she was discovered, she was eighteen before her first album was released.  Still, it was a remarkable beginning for a remarkable career–and it really did begin with a recording she made for her mother’s birthday.

The dream got better–but it wasn’t all good.

Her first album, released in 1977, was already on the shelves at the radio station when I got there, and every song on it was popular, but particularly memorable were Mountain Top, What A Difference You’ve Made, and the one that still got airplay after she had released several other albums, also covered by The Imperials, Old Man’s Rubble–as demonstrated by this live version done some years later.

Her second album, in 1979, was known for two things, the very popular title song Father’s Eyes, and the controversy about the third button.  That’s right, Christians were all up in arms because the now twenty-something college student and successful Christian singer had her blouse open to the third button in the cover photo on the back of the album jacket.  It was an excellent album (and really, I saw the photo before I knew there was a controversy, and it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong with it, being fresh out of college myself), with other great songs including Never Give You Up.

That title song was written by Gary Chapman, whom she married in 1982–the first of her two failed marriages, the second to country singer Vince Gill in 2000.  [Errata:  I had been told that Amy’s second marriage had also failed; that apparently was false gossip, as she is still married to Vince Gill.]  It was not all roses.  She has one child, daughter Sarah Chapman.

In 1980 she released Never Alone, a considerably less memorable entry but sporting titles like Look What Has Happened To Me and Don’t Give Up On Me.

It was also during these college years that Amy looked at the work she’d done and realized she had produced three albums that she wouldn’t own if they weren’t by someone she knew personally.  She talked to people, and sent word to Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key that she wanted to collaborate with them on something.  They reportedly responded, “That Amy Grant?”  However, the outcome was the recording of Nobody Loves Me Like You on the Degarmo & Key LP This Ain’t Hollywood.

In 1981 she released two live albums, In Concert and In Concert Volume Two.  The songs were almost all remakes of familiar Amy Grant songs, but the second disc opened with I’m Gonna Fly, a bit more upbeat than most of her familiar hits.

Age to Age was released in 1982, and she continued to progress with the country-rock I Have Decided and the upbeat Sing Your Praise to the Lord (with the baroque intro), but perhaps the most significant song on the record was El Shaddai, about half of which is in Hebrew, which got heavy airplay and introduced songwriter and artist Michael Card, whose own recording of the song was released on his debut album at about the same time.

It is not at all surprising that Christian artists often release Christmas albums, and that Christian radio stations play them, but that most of them have very little to commend them–just retreads of familiar Christmas songs, often with secular holiday songs mixed in.  In 1983 Amy released her first such album–and it was a wonderful work of art, to this day my personal favorite Christmas album.  She sent us a “picture disk”–a vinyl record with the cover image embedded in the vinyl, in a jacket with a clear plastic front so that the picture showed through.  That wasn’t a lot of use at the station, so I still have it here at home.

The opener, Tennessee Christmas, is one of those songs which poses an enigma to Christian radio stations.  It is all about spending Christmas at home instead of somewhere else, but doesn’t mention Jesus or even God at all–just the love of family at home.  Yet it was co-written by Amy and then-husband Gary Chapman, and no one can say it doesn’t reflect Christian values.  Still, it ultimately is a holiday song, later to be covered by the band Alabama, and a pleasant start to the disc.

From there it moves into Hark the Herald Angels Sing, followed by the instrumental Preiset Dem Konig! (Praise the King!), which virtually segues into the rocky sequence of Emmanuel/Little Town/Christmas Hymn, the middle of those a completely new and upbeat version of O Little Town of Bethlehem for which my only complaint is that I would have liked for her to have included the entire third verse.

She follows this with the upbeat Love Has Come.  I am then disappointed by her inclusion of two secular holiday songs–Sleigh Ride and The Christmas Song.  Don’t misunderstand.  They are credibly done, but there is nothing particularly different or interesting about them, and they are on the list of songs that to me disrupt the spirit of the holiday.  She makes up for it, though, with another excellent creative original, Heirlooms, and then finishes the album with a medley of A Mighty Fortress and Angels We Have Heard On High.  The timing error on Fortress irks me, because my mind is trying to sing along and it omits the notes for a few words, but Angels is a fit and perhaps glorious ending for the work.

I’m pretty sure that her next album, Straight Ahead, passed through my fingers just before I left the station; I vaguely remember Thy Word, but nothing else about it is familiar other than the cover and the title.

Not long after that, Amy hit controversy again as it was announced she would be crossing over into the secular market.  I don’t know how successful that was, but a lot of her fans were upset about it.  On the other hand, the single that was released to the secular stations reportedly was about love and fidelity, and those were certainly Christian values.

Amy continued to release albums on Christian labels for decades after that.  She became the first Christian artist to win a Platinum record, and went on to win several more, making her the best selling Christian music artist to date.  The little girl who recorded a tape for her mother’s birthday has in some senses been the most successful Christian musician.

I heard her talking on the radio not too long ago.  She lives with her mother now, who is suffering from the mental afflictions of old age.  One day as Amy was headed toward the door with guitar case in hand, her mother said, “Where are you going?”

“I have a concert, Mom.”

“Oh, do you sing?”

“Yes, Mom, I sing.”

“Well, have fun.”

How sad is that?

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple Andraé Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.
  31. #302:  Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.

#302: Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-Named Re’Generation

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #302, on the subject of Might Be Truth and the Cleverly-named Re’Generation.

When I was in college I heard a rumor about a band–I’m not sure you could characterize it quite that way, though.  I heard that there were these guys, one of whom traveled around the country listening to high school musicians and collecting a group of the best, the other then taking them, managing them as a band, taking them on tour, and finally producing an album.  Then after a year on the road they disbanded, presumably continued their educations, and the new crop of high school graduates took the stage.

I think that band was called Truth.

I have a couple reasons for thinking this.  In about 1974 I was given a pirated copy of several albums and a few extra songs which included an album by a band called Truth.  (Others were the debut albums from Love Song and Malcolm and Alwyn, and a live cut from Larry Norman.  I’m pretty sure that part of the point Jeff had in giving me the tape was to demonstrate that a brass section did not make a band better–I liked brass in my work.)  I remember very little of that album, but it was probably We Want to Love, We Want to Shine, because I specifically remember their versions of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and One Solitary Life (neither of which I can find online as videos).  Then I remember encountering a band called Truth at the radio station, a sort of MOR (that stands for Middle Of the Road, and is a technical term in the music industry) Contemporary vocal group with a bit of brass, but with entirely different vocalists from the album I knew.

I also heard a story, that every year Truth was a new band, until one year when they came to the end of the tour and made the record they looked at each other and said, why would we want to do something else?  So the band Truth stabilized into that group.  (I have no idea what happened to those poor high school graduates who had anticipated being part of a touring Christian band, but I got the story so poly-handed that it could be completely wrong.)

What I don’t remember, really, is any single song or album that they recorded during my time at the station other than that logo in the picture of that album cover.  I can tell you, though, that they did well-produced covers of popular Christian hits, toning down some of the rockier ones and spicing up some of the calmer ones to get a sound that could be played by most radio stations.  Unfortunately, it was apparently an easily forgotten sound.

I’m pairing them in this article with a band called Re’Generation, because what I remember about them is that they were very similar in sound to Truth.  The only other thing I remember about them is that Found Free teased about their sound in their song Individually Wrapped (“Should we change our style and sing just like Regen–?/Oh, one of us hot-dogs would surely wreck the blend.”).  Seriously, even looking over their online discography, I see no familiar album covers and no familiar titles beyond that they are mostly covers of songs known from elsewhere.  They produced twenty-some albums over a decade, and were as I recall good at what they did, but nothing from them is remembered as remarkable.

*****

The series to this point has included:

  1. #232:  Larry Norman, Visitor;
  2. #234:  Flip Sides of Ralph Carmichael;
  3. #236:  Reign of the Imperials;
  4. #238:  Love Song by Love Song.
  5. #240:  Should Have Been a Friend of Paul Clark.
  6. #242:  Disciple Andraé Crouch.
  7. #244: Missed The Archers.
  8. #246: The Secular Radio Hits.
  9. #248:  The Hawkins Family.
  10. #250:  Original Worship Leader Ted Sandquist.
  11. #252:  Petra Means Rock.
  12. #254:  Miscellaneous Early Christian Bands.
  13. #256:  Harry Thomas’ Creations Come Alive.
  14. #258:  British Invaders Malcolm and Alwyn.
  15. #260:  Lamb and Jews for Jesus.
  16. #262: First Lady Honeytree of Jesus Music.
  17. #264:  How About Danny Taylor.
  18. #266:  Minstrel Barry McGuire.
  19. #268:  Voice of the Second Chapter of Acts.
  20. #272:  To the Bride Live.
  21. #276:  Best Guitarist Phil Keaggy.
  22. #281:  Keith Green Launching.
  23. #283:  Keith Green Crashing.
  24. #286:  Blind Seer Ken Medema.
  25. #288:  Prophets Daniel Amos.
  26. #290:  James the Other Ward.
  27. #292:  Rising Resurrection Band.
  28. #294:  Servant’s Waters.
  29. #296:  Found Free Lost.
  30. #299:  Praise for Dallas Holm.