New Movie About “The Jesus Music” Premiers
The L.A. Times has an excellent article today about the new movie about Calvary Chapel and the “Jesus Music”.
I haven’t seen the movie…but so far, neither the articles and the trailer have mentioned one person who was central to the whole era.
If you talk about this time without mentioning the late Tom Stipe…you’ve missed telling the whole story.
It would be like telling the story of rock and roll without mentioning Sam Phillips…
Curiously, the article also refers to some old stories on Calvary Chapel scandals I worked on in around 2007.
That’s the only nostalgia in the piece I could relate to…
I loved a lot of the music, although I never attended a CC Church. Our local Christian radio station in my college town played it (pre-KLOVE). The only concert I ever went to was at a church where Larry Norman was singing. I had never seen a photo of him, and I was wondering who the pretty blonde was up on the platform. Then he turned around! The music was just more relatable than all the hymns i knew by heart. Now, much older, I appreciate the best of both worlds.
I do find the whole CCM complex a bit disconcerting, but the entire Christian world has been affected by big business. I guess we have to deal with it (how else would I buy a Bible except from a major publisher) without getting carried away by all the hype and nonsense.
I usually stay out of these conversations because I wasn’t a fan of the genre or the culture.
On the other hand, my taste in “Christian music” is Dottie Rambo and Jimmy Swaggart…another reason I stay quiet… 🙂
My wife used to listen to KYMS and says she heard a recording of herself on the radio once requesting prayers for me to be saved.
Do recorded prayers count as reruns seen on Christian TV?
I never exchanged my musical background for the Christian groupie version, but I do write Bible songs mostly for kids.
The list of people trying to cash in by appearing in this movie is quite telling. Save your money folks. Their folly should be apparent to all; what’s disturbing is that it is not.
It’s an important look at evangelical history…
You had to be there. Many of the artists were/are friends of mine. I wish Salem Media were not involved in this. A real, non-sanitized version would tell a much richer story…
If I’d have been there I would have been in a fight every few minutes… 🙂
God kept me on the mountain until it was safe to come down…
I saw and heard Tom Stipe from the platform at CC Costa Mesa several times during the mid-70’s. Then, after moving to Colorado, I went to a church plant in Boulder, Colorado that he pastored before moving to the Denver area. I appreciated his stories of the early days of the CC ministry; he said once he could have read from a phone book and people would have gotten saved.
I have been acquainted with several Christian ‘celebrities’ for lack of a better word. I did not know him well but I never doubted his personal integrity. I was saddened by his death.
Tom was vital to everything CC did in the music business as well…
I went overseas with the military (W. Germany) for several years between my California and Colorado days; by the time I returned my theology had become much more aligned with the historic church. By that time CC Denver had become a Vineyard; wonderful people there but I ended up going to a more traditional church. Someone once said that they grew tired of being on the cutting edge–that resonates with me.
Michael, I totally agree; I know for a long time Tom was a chaplain with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s department as well as pastoring. I know what that kind of work and ministry entails; it made a loud statement about his pastoral gifts and care for those who were hurting. There was a certain kind of humility in how he spoke about his music and experience with producing music. A special man.
My husband led worship at two Calvary Chapels for over 20 years. He was also in a Christian band for a while. He was friends with Terry Clark and his wife and my husband ‘opened’ for them several times at concerts. We live in Southern California and attended Calvary Chapel church he’s together for over 30 years. My husband was a part of the Christian music scene as a local band here in San Diego. We are planning to see the movie in Carlsbad where it is currently playing.
We knew them back when Terry Clark was still in ‘The Clark Brothers’ – I still love Terry’ Clarks albums. What a beautiful voice God blessed him with.
Hillsong was not a part of it.
Did someone mention Hillsong?
They’re on the list: Hillsong United
I like Dottie Rambo, but I didn’t know Jimmy Swaggert could sing. Unfortunately, when I became aware of him it was for all the wrong reasons! I grew up around all kinds of music, and I had an excellent formal music education. So, I sang hymns in church choir and listened to soul music with the other kids in my neighborhood. Meanwhile, my dad was into jazz and swing. Mom liked Frank Sinatra. I absorbed it all, and I can enjoy almost anything (except punk and other super loud/hard rock like that).
Hosanna/Integrity was before Hillsong, didn’t make the list. I didn’t make the list. (No surprise there, just sayin’) lol
Long time readers know that the music I listen to most often is that of Jerry Lee Lewis…every day for 63 years.
Jimmy Swaggart learned to play piano on the same piano as Jerry Lee…and later Mickey Gilley took his turn on the old Stark upright They are all first cousins.
Swaggart can play just like his cousin…
Thanks for the explanation. Now I know something positive about Mr Swaggert,
I’m hoping Keith Green is mentioned in the movie.
I’m hoping Keith Green is mentioned in the movie.
Yeah, sounds like they are bypassing the foundation of contemporary music which was in the 70’s—Karen Lafferty, Darrell Mansfield, Gentle Faith, Ernie Rettino, HoneyTree, John Wickham and the Way, Love Song, Denny’s Cornell, Lewis McVey, Fong and, and, and.
Maybe it’s just because I am older. People who listened to the folks listed in this pic wouldn’t know about Lp’s, 8 tracks, and cassettes—even CD’s much less who the real pioneers of Christian music were.
FWIW—I toured off and on with Darrell Mansfield for a couple of years. Went to Russia with him, Canada and the West Coast. He is currently in assisted living with Alzheimer’s or Dimentia.
I forgot to mention Bob Bennett and Roby Duke. Roby did some recording for me back in the early 90’s.
To me, some of those names are familiar: Darrell Mansfield…loved the blues albums he did with Glenn Kaiser, Love Song, (Nancy) Honeytree, to name a few.
There is no finer lyricist than Bob Bennett.
So many… Keaggy, Stonehill, Petra… all aging friends.
My brother painted 2 Petra album covers—This Means War and Petra Means Praise.
Stryper were rumored to be on c. hydrochloride.
Bob Hartman and I were friends during the time he formed Petra. I remember their first rehearsal in the church basement!
Sometimes something happens right in front of us, but we don’t get the significance. A few years ago I had a birthday party at which a number of musician friends came and performed. Owen Thomas and Thom Daugherty from The Elms were there. My friend Michael invited our old friend, Greg Hough, to come and back him up. At the end of the evening, everyone broke into Neil Young’s ‘Rockin in the Free World’. Standing side by side on the stage playing were Greg and Thom.
Greg was an original lead guitarist of Petra (first two albums), the first rock band signed to Sparrow Records by Billy Ray Hearn in 1973. Thom was the lead guitarist of The Elms, the last rock band signed to Sparrow Records by Billy Ray Hearn in 2000.
Bookends of an era in Christian music.
Many of the news mentioned above can be viewed on a fantastic video, old but accessible called “First Love A Historic Gathering of Jesus Music Pioneers”. Mansfield. Honeytree. Barry McGuire. All there in the same room worshipping. Worth watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxvOfr1XnzI
My entry into the faith in 1988…tape cassettes in the local Christian bookstore…
Larry Norman, Petra, Maranatha! Nancy Honeytree, Wendy and Mary, etc. Haven’t seen the movie and won’t because it sounds like a puff piece with some cherry-picked serious notes.
Ahhh….forgot about Barry McGuire…thanks prodinov.
It’s a good semi-documentary piece
ok, thanks for your take and for the recommendation. I was just wondering it it was more of a fluff piece.
It was a unique, and dare I say ‘magical’ time… Many of those musicians stayed at or shared a meal our home. My kids grew up with Barry McGuire and Keith and Melody Green, as frequent visitors.
So many of those songs are deeply embedded in my heart and soul. Those voices, like Bob Bennet’s “I know that my redeemer lives”, and Second Chapter’s Easter Song , and so many profound lyrics and melodies are carved into my prayers and worship. Oh how I loved the early music of Pam Mark Hall, too
I was saved more than fifty years ago at a Maranatha Everlasting Music concert with Lonnie Frisbee preaching. The Spirit of God and His Word, has kept me close all these years. Tom Stipe paid me one of the greatest compliment, calling me ‘the poster child” of the abandoned pastor’s wife syndrome. So many incredibly profound memories and experiences with all those mentioned in this thread. Don’t forget Rich Mullens…Without doubt, his was the most amazing concert I ever attended, though Second Chapter still makes me weep, as does Keith Green. Massive legacy, in spite of their frailties.
Hi Paige—yeah. You guys hosted a lot of the early bands. Came and saw a few
To be honest, I was never really into CCM. Sure there were some CCM songs and worship choruses that were sung in the various churches I attended over the years. This is probably due to the fact I always had a preference for hymns and (and later on psalters). What I have seen in the past 20 years or so is a renaissance in hymn writing in Christian music (the Gettys come to mind). That is a welcome change to the status quo of CCM that started with the Jesus People Movement.
Here is my link poking fun at CCM from the Babylon Bee (before it jumped the shark):
I have one more:
As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music, so KYMS was on in the car and at home I listened to Keith Green, Don Francisco, Petra, Stryper, Altar Boys, Steve Taylor, to name a few.
My junior year in high school, Phil Keaggy came and did a concert (I went to a christian high school).
A high school buddy of mine was the engineer for KYMS when they moved their tower to its current location.
Wow, this had been quite a trip down “memory lane” with all the classic CCM artists mentioned here! I still miss Rich Mullins 24 years later.
I always feel weird about these threads…I never listened to any of this music and still don’t…the only “Christian” music I can handle is Southern Gospel and medieval chants…but not at the same time…
I think if you combined country on rap, would it be Crap? 🙂
So what would it be if you combined southern gospel with medieval chants? 🙂
Well “Kyrie” from Mister Mister is a chant combined with 1980’s pop music and lyrics.
Is that close enough?
Saw Phil Keaggy back in ’88 or ’89, as well as Rez Band. Great shows.
My mileage with CCM: cannot stand 98% of CCM…so much of it seems repetitive (especially Praise and Worship music), dishonest, disingenuous, and lacks creativity. Again, my opinion only. There are only a few musicians I can enjoy in CCM, and it numbers in the low single digits.
Michael, does your Southern Gospel interest include the Gaithers?
Love Mr Mr.!!!
They’re kind of white bread, but I’ll listen occasionally.
Now, black Gospel howlers…anytime!
The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Staples, Mahalia Jackson…everyone who ever recorded on Malaco records..there’s so many…
I did like the Gaither specials…especial if the Happy Goodmans or Dottie Rambo was on…Vestal Goodman could howl…
Thanks Michael…my wife is a big fan of black gospel!
I just went to Youtube and now I’m shot for the day…Vestal and George Jones singing “Angel Band”…I may have been raptured …
I have one or two Gaither Homecoming DVD’s at home. Good stuff!
Vestal (Goodman?)..is she the one always holding onto that gargantuan handkerchief?
I forget we have new people…
This is Duanes band…even I like these albums.
Yes, that’s her…probably an acquired taste… 🙂