The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part One
- The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part One
- The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part Two
- The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part Three
- The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part Four
- The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part Five
by Michael Lytle
When scanning the FM radio dial in any U.S. city you come across a wide variety of stations. In my city, if I want to hear oldies from the 50s and 60s I have a couple options. I can also listen to classic rock from the 70s, modern rock, alternative/indie rock, top 40 pop and hip-hop, and of course a variety of country options. If I am feeling particularly adventurous, I can check out mix stations that play popular songs from the last four or five decades.
If I want to listen to Christian music I have several stations to choose from as well. Unfortunately, they all basically play the same songs over again and their entire catalog seems to be chosen from music released in the last six to twelve months. It’s as if there is a deliberate attempt to pretend that Christian music did not exist before last year. There also seems to be a mandate to play a very limited number of artists who for the most part play the same generic style of pop worship music. These stations are very proud of the fact that their music is uplifting, upbeat, positive, encouraging, and safe for the whole family. Just don’t look for anything challenging, convicting, original, or thought-provoking because those qualities might alienate some of their more easily offended listeners.
Why do Christian radio stations avoid anything challenging? Why do they gravitate to easy and safe music? And more importantly, why do Christian radio stations and even Christian music listeners want to ignore their history? Regardless of whether you are a fan of the music that continues to be released in the Christian Rock or CCM genres, it is critical to recognize that there is plenty of great Christian music that has been made over the last several decades. Unfortunately, nearly all this music has been forgotten or ignored.
We want to do our part to shed some light on this overlooked music. We decided the best way to do that is a series of short articles spotlighting different time periods and styles of Christian rock music. We are including a Spotify playlist with each article featuring some of the music from each era. These playlists are by no means exhaustive. While Spotify has a vast library of albums and songs, they don’t have everything we would have wanted to include. We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we enjoyed writing them. Without further ado, we present part one of The Forgotten History of Christian Rock.
Part One: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?
by David Lytle
The 1960s through late 1970s
Rock ‘n’ Roll was rebellion–rebellion from social conformity, rebellion from moral standards, rebellion from the church. Sure artists like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry infused blues with the sounds of both black and southern gospel, but the outcome was far from the music of the sanctuary. It was the music of the night and the nightclub. As the rebels of the 1950s gave way to the hippies of the 1960s, this rebellion became increasingly clear.
Rock ‘n’ Roll was sinful. Both the church and the artist agreed. It was rhythmic, sexual, and broke every tradition. Teens gyrated and shouted, while fundamentalist preachers fumed. When John Lennon contrasted the popularity of the Beatles with that of Jesus he did more than make an observation—he drew battle lines. It’s no surprise that this same man later found it so easy to imagine a world where there is no heaven. It was a world Christians found unimaginable.
More importantly, Rock ‘n’ Roll was the soul of a generation. What a generation it was! Their parents had grown up during the Great Depression and sacrificed mental and physical health to defeat the war machines of Germany and Japan. They were coming of age in the suburbs that sprouted in the soil of this post-war economic boom. The older the baby boomers got the more it became clear that they were not their parents. Their music, more than anything, was what made them different.
In this context, a handful of young people experimented with the idea of Rock ‘n’ Roll that was about Jesus. This first generation of Christian rockers faced a serious dilemma—the dilemma of existence. How could rock music even be Christian? How could a Christian play rock? For most churches, it was easy to dismiss rock as sinful, but there was a minority who understood that Rock n’ Roll was the heart language of the new generation. They understood that rebellion from some of their parents’ values (namely materialism and racial segregation) could be virtuous. They understood that Jesus transcended cultural expression. They were the Jesus Movement.
Some have tried to locate the origin of the movement to one church, like Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA, or one artist, like Larry Norman. Yet, the origins of Jesus Rock, like the origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll, are much more difficult to pin down. All over the Country musicians were melding the message of Jesus with the music of the times. Although a minority, churches in various parts of the country encouraged Christians to redeem Rock ‘n’ Roll. Likewise, many artists would forsake a lifestyle of sexual promiscuity and drugs for a radical relationship with Jesus Christ. They were known as Jesus Freaks. Their movement: the Jesus Movement. Their music: Jesus Music. Elton John even sang about them. They were Christian Hippies. Their message was about salvation, but their music would still rock.
Well, it would sort of rock. The fact remains that much of the Christian Rock music of the 1960s was never recorded. Recording costs were prohibitive and quality was low. Low quality was especially a problem for the heavier music of the late 60s. No matter, folk music was where it was at anyway. This was the era of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and David Crosby. Much of the memorable Christian Rock from this era reflects these influences. Love Song, Sweet Comfort Band, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Randy Stonehill, and Larry Norman are just a few examples.
Speaking of Larry Norman. Norman is to Christian Rock what Elvis Presley is to Rock n’ Roll. He wasn’t the first but it is impossible to tell the story without him. He, more than anyone, is associated with the origins of Christian rock. His “Why should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” attempted to reconcile the dilemma of Christianity and Rock. His “Sweet Song of Salvation” became the anthem of the Jesus Movement and his “Great American Novel” is a scathing challenge to American values in the age of the space race in the tradition of Bob Dylan.
By the mid-1970s folk-based Christian music was well established and even accepted in some circles. Rock n’ Roll, however, had gotten edgier. It was time for Christian Rock to really rock. It was time for Petra and the Resurrection Band. These bands attempted to preach the gospel with the blues-rock of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Both had remarkably long careers and while their styles changed with the times, they consistently made their music about the gospel of Jesus. Petra would go on to make their name synonymous with Christian Rock throughout the 80s and 90s. They would also continue to rock.
The first generation of Christian Rockers faced opposition from all angles. They were scorned by the mainstream because of their commitment to Jesus and their denunciation of drugs and illicit sex. They were rebuked by much of the Church for even trying to redeem the music of the world. Still, they kept on message. They focused mostly on salvation and the change brought by Jesus. As can be seen in the playlist, there also seems to be a significant interest in eschatology, which was apparently brought about by the fear of the atomic bomb.
The desire to redeem Rock n’ Roll made it necessary to create a musical subgenre in which the lyrics set Christian Rock apart from “secular.” While this created a false dichotomy between the sacred and the secular that Christian artists still face today, their singular focus on Jesus made their movement a success. Thousands came to a saving faith through the Jesus Movement. Today the instruments and rhythms of Rock can be heard in the majority of churches across the country.
This is most certainly an epoch on the history of the Christian church worth noting. For those Christians who enjoy rock music, this is your story. We hope you enjoy this less-than-exhaustive playlist. Sadly, due to the age of these recordings, and other issues, many great songs and artists are not available on Spotify. We did the best we could with what we had available. Please, seek out these trailblazing artists and bands we highlighted above. We also hope you leave your comments and share this series of articles. Let’s not forget our past.
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- Five Albums We Can’t Stop Listening To - April 4, 2022
- Tim Keller: Our Tribute to a Hero of the Faith - May 23, 2023
- Five Albums We Can’t Stop Listening To - April 4, 2022
- NEEDTOBREATHE “The Reckoning” Turns Ten - October 8, 2021
81 thoughts on “The Forgotten History of Christian Rock: Part One”
These early Christian rockers had a prophetic voice, but perhaps none kore so than Keith Green. Glad to see him well represented on the playlist. Wish we had more voices, the spiritual voice, like his today.
I agree Len. There are voices like this out there, they just don’t get radio air-play. The final part of this series will highlight some of those artists.
Andrew Peterson, Rich Mullins, Keith Green, GLAD, early Petra…..that would be my kind of playlist.
You all should listen to PRAZOR. 83 channels of Christian Music. http://www.prazor.com
Thanks for doing this tribute to those who blazed the trail that gave way to our ministry, Metal Mission of Knoxville. It is such a blessing to get to know today’s new musicians and some of yesteryear and partner with some in ministry and minister to some and interact with others. Cool post, looking forward to reading parts 2-5!
Thanks for the comment, Paul!
I pray my folks make that list – they were truth for a generation Farrell & Farrell ❣
Dawn–I fondly remember listening to a few Farrell & Farrell songs when I was little! I had completely forgotten about them–glad you reminded me! Just went and bought a few songs online. 🙂
I consider their JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS album a Christian new wave classic.
I really appreciate this blog!! It is talking about something that is one of my biggest soapboxes and frustrations. Something very important to me!! A little history about me.
I became I Christian in 1981. At the time I was involved in music and bands, played bass. I was also a drug addict and alcoholic, but I lived for rock and roll!!
After I became a Christian I was told I had to forsake rock and burn over 4000 albums, get a haircut and had to like Southern gospel and country gospel. The pastor gave me albums by the Florida boys and Jimmy Swaggart. He said this is what Christians listen to, its Gods music!!
I tried, I burnt my Records!!( that was so hard) I got a haircut. I even took the albums and I listened. I tried to like it, but I couldn’t!! thought I can’t do this!! I am going to go to Hell for not liking this so called music!!
But I remembered this Christian band I had heard the previous year,1980. I had went to heckle them as they were so called “Christian Rock” and I figured they would be a joke. They blew me away!! They were fantastic and really smoked!! They were the Degarmo & Key Band. I had spoken with the Guitarist at length after the show. I told him I thought they would be horrible and came to heckle, but couldn’t. He laughed and said usually they were heckled by preachers. He also had told me he believed that he would meet me again and I would be a Christian and preaching. I laughed,said never!! He was right!!
I asked the preacher if I could listen to D&K? He said no, they were undercover for the Devil. But speaking of undercover, the youth pastor said the pastor was wrong and he gave me albums to listen to from Resurrection Band, Petra, Daniel Amos and Servant. These albums and bands blew me away. Especially Awaiting Your Reply by Resurrection Band. These guys reminded me of Led Zeplin!! I was saved, no more Florida boys!! I now believed that rock was not satanic. That youth Pastor got fired when the pastor found out he was listening to and promoting Christian rock. That youth pastor saved my life!! I went on to get involved in outreach ministry and started working in concert promotion and worked with all the great bands and artists of the 80s and have worked on and off in the music world from 82 until just recently.
I saw all these great artists active from the late 70s thru the 80s change so many lives and help so many people,including myself. They also paved the way for the artists and CCM of the 90s into today. It’s so easy to be a Christian artist today. But they mostly put out crap that would not offend,challenge or change the life of anyone!! That’s what the record companies and radio stations want. They don’t want lyrics with sermons in them, that might bring conviction of sin or bring repentance!! Keep it safe, replace the cross and conviction with a happy face!!
I once requested songs by Steve Camp and Keith Green at a radio station in my state during an oldies show. They told me the songs could not be older than 1997 and that even if the could play them, they would not. I was told they were divisive and hate filled artists. That the artists lyrics were preachy and offensive. And the artist could not be played at that station anymore. Keith Green and Steve Camp hate filled and divisive? Because they speak the gospel truth in the music. They are saying, like many liberals that the Gospel is hate filled!! So sad!!
There are no commercial classic Christian rock radio stations. Just Christian stations that play modern rock and pop that all sounds over produced and the same. Mainstream music respects and honors and plays the classic artists of the 60s 70s and 80s. The history of rock they still celebrate!! Christian music acts like there were no decent artists before 1998!!
I don’t understand this. It shows no respect for the artists that came before that paid their dues,paved the way and fought the battles that now makes it possible for them to easily play!!
It also does not allow young people to hear the classics and discover how great much of this music was. Over the past 10-15 years working with young bands I would expose them to the classic Christian artists of the 70s and 80s. I would find stuff that they liked and encourage them to cover the songs in their styles. Give new life to the classics. Most of their audiences think the songs are originals, they don’t have a clue the song was written 30 years ago. Once they find out,many seek out the originals and discover these great older artists and bands.
Anyhow the lack of respect given to the classic artists, lack of classic Christian radio and the total ignoring of these foreruning and groundbreaking artists is just wrong!! This is my soapbox!! Your blog is making much of the same argument I have for years!! So thanks and keep up the good work!! Brian
Brian, what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. We hope the rest of this series will connect with our readers like this first part has.
Thanks for the story.
Excellent article. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I stumbled upon your 5 song from Petra article on Twitter, and I’m glad it led me to your excellent blog.
Thanks for the comment. Share and spread the word!
Been following your blog for a bit. I grew up in a weird time. I was for the longest time only allowed to listen to Sandi Patti and Steve Green and I mean no offense to either of them. I just learned a few weeks ago that Steve Green was actually the original lead singer for Whiteheart which is so funny because my family doesn’t like their music. I listened also to Harvest, Don Francisco, Scott Wesley Brown. I grew up around a family that refuses to listen to anything other than Michael Card because all other artists have the wrong theology. Then my sister let me listen to Beyond Belief by Petra. I had a friend introduce me to Geoff Moore and the Distance and DeGarmo and Key and from then on I loved Christian rock. I have introduced my ex, my wife and others to the music I love. My only rock music exposure before was Kiss, Alice Cooper, Eagles, and Queen. I now do a weekly bible study blog and I use a wide range of Christian music. I truly believe what a youth pastor told me once music is a tool that can be used for good or bad. Musical instruments are the same. God can use music in various ways.
Thanks for the comment Zac. I really appreciate your thoughts on this and that you follow our little website here. It means a lot.
Confession – Due to some of my church background, personal pride and arrogance, and from some strong influences from the undergraduate Christian college I attended, I had a very negative impression of the Jesus movement and their overall contribution to music. Along the way I would meet Christians from that background that did not fit the image that had been presented to me, and that I had willingly constructed in my mind. Then I went to work at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, there I met so many serious and faithful Christians that had been led to Christ and discipled to fruitfulness thru the Jesus Movement and their music, I was forced to confront the very unfair and unchairtable images I had formed. The movement, the music, and some of the individuals you mentioned were/are very flawed. But, so is my tradition and many of the individuals who have exercised leadership within it. I am so thankful for several active participants in the Jesus Movement of the 60’s and 70’s that poured into me and whose wisdom impacts my ministry today. No, you won’t catch me (ever?) willingly listening to Petra. Keith Green and Bob Dylan, that’s another story!
Charles, thanks for the comment and confession. Yes, many of them were flawed. But as you said, most of us are as well.
Sorry you hate good music, btw. What is wrong with you?
Because of my eclectic makeup and tastes, and the exposure I’ve had to so many different genres and flavors, there is hardly anything I don’t like and haven’t been blessed by throughout my life. I am so thankful for the many positive influences and impacts that came out of the Jesus Movement and Christian rock. From “I Wish We’d All been Ready, ” to Keith Green, 2nd Chapter of Acts to Petra to modern contemporary praise and worship, the body of Christ has been enriched and challenged, and sinners have come to the Savior. Thanks, guys.
Yyyyeeeeeeeesssssss!!! I’m so excited about this series!!! Great article, David!
Glass Harp (with Phil Keaggy) was a late-60s/early-70s rock band that transitioned into all Christian lyrics. They were talented musicians. Here’s an example from 1970, recorded At Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nZqVWGB26U
Yep. We included them on our playlist. I do wish there was more of their stuff available on Spotify.
Love this article! This is one of my main complaints with Christian radio today. I have suggested multiple times to my local station to just have a Throwback Thursday and play the incredible songs from the past. I personally am a big White Heart fan and am sure they will be in your 80s-90s article. I miss hearing those guys, Rich Mullins and many others that you mention here. I rely on the repurchasing of these recordings in digital format to enjoy hearing them, just wish the new generations could be exposed to them as well! Thanks for the great article, I look forward to the other parts!
I would love a throwback Thursday (or something similar)! That is such a great idea.
Its obvious from the comments that there is still love for older Christian music as well as a deep emotional attachment because of the role that this music has played in people’s spiritual formation. All the more tragic that its never played.
I’ll never forget hearing Larry Norman and Rez band for the first time after I gave my heart to Jesus at 16 years old. From then on I was hooked and still am.
Great article, especially the thoughts on today’s Christian music. With very few exceptions, it is almost impossible for me to enjoy.
Awesome! I came on the scene a little later. Looking forward to Part 2. White Heart’s album Vital Signs was passed down to me one Christmas and I proceeded to wear out 2 cassette tapes listening to it. I then attended my first concert Petra’s Beat the System tour with Leslie Phillips opening and I was hooked for the remainder.
Great article! I used to work in “Christian Radio”, hated the cookie cutter mentality of programming. Was hired to start up a Christian Rock station for them in 2000, played a very wide variety of music didn’t repeat songs every hour. Had a lot of listeners tune in even though it was on AM. Then they hired a professional programmer. He took us to an 1 hour rotation and played the songs dictated by the record companies that were aimed at the 25-35 yr old Christian mom’s that all the CCM stations played. People turned us off. There is so much great music that doesn’t get airplay.
Mylon Lefebvre and Larry Norman kind of tied for the First Christian Rock Major label album.
Both are really good and easily stand up to their secular counterparts
While I really enjoyed Mylon, saw him in concert several times, and he had a great testimony, I am pretty sure Larry was quite a bit ahead oh him.
This reminds me how much I enjoyed Larry, Uncle Randy, Steve Taylorand bands like Glass Harp and Danial Amos for their thought provoking lyrics. Gotta add Issac Air Freight even though they weren’t music. Then I moved to Rez, Undercover, Servent, Alter Boys then repidly on to the good stuff like Bride, Baron Cross, Tornaquet and Deliverance. One thing I have always enjoyed was the songs that were unashamedly Christian and yet could deal with the rough edges of life. Seldom would my favorite music get air play but it didn’t seem to be that important compared to reaching hurting people.
The Blast.fm is an online radio station that currently has a pop channel, a heavy metal one and a hard core one. They are now in the process of adding a channel titled the Blastazoic zone. And from the title just guess what music format it will be playing .
Great article, with many fond memories.
My “coming of age” with the Christian rock movement was Petra, Stryper, and Bloodgood. I was raised in a Christian household and my parents did not allow secular music in the house. For better or for worse, it forced me to frequent the discount bins at the local bookstore for Christian albums and I found many artists that way that i still frequently spin. I am looking forward to the follow-up posts as your intro mirrors my thoughts on the current crop of CCM. thanks guys.
Thanks for all the comments! I love the passion for the music of our past. We have 4 more of these coming over the next month or so. Keep checking in for the next part.
Degarmo & Key, Mylon Lefevre, Whiteheart, David ant the Giants, Novella, Bride, Wes King, Susan Ashton, Steven Curtis Chapman, Big Tent Revival, Guardian, Third Day, Steve Taylor…Man those were great days. Then Hillsong comes along and the music went from being something real and meaningful to being a sure fire way to cure insomnia. So sad the pioneers of faith in music have been pushed out.
Great read!! Looking forward to more. And here’s a station that DOES include classics along with today’s best tunes (no sappy stuff). The Spirit (KEZK/102.5-HD2) features music from Larry Norman to TobyMac. Listen online on TuneIn here: http://tunein.com/station/?StationId=67327, on the radio.com app, the NextRadio app (now available for both Android & iPhone), iTunes internet radio, or google The Spirit 102.5. In St. Louis, also listen on any HD radio, car or home. Like our FB page and get on board! https://m.facebook.com/The-Spirit-KEZK-1025-HD-2-241334002729507/
Nice article…I discovered Christian rock from a small radio station outside of Pittsburgh,Pa in 1978.A guy at my work was listening to some music I never heard before..They were playing Ressurection band,Don Francisco,Barry Mcguire,Keith Green etc.
This same guy became my best friend and the person who led me to Jesus .
I was already a musician and 40 years later ,I am still a Christian musician. I like all styles,but you can’t find anything but worship music on the radio.I miss the days where you can sneak up on the audience with a great song containing evangelical messages.
Thank God for streaming.
I got to see all the big pioneers live in the 70s and 80s.
Keith Green,Benny Hester,Barry Mcguire,Petra,Keaggy,Sweet Comfort Band,Second chapter of Acts,Rez,Degarmo and Key,Jerusalem ,Daniel Amos,Randy Stonehill,77s,,man so many.
There are bands with an edge today,but you have to look for them.
Plus,the venues today are not the same..back then there were coffeehouses,high schools,parks etc to play at nowadays it is harder to find live Christian music.
So very true. I grew up near Pittsburgh and I remember being able to see multiple bands yearly. The local Christian station would bring them in to the amusement park once a year and the local venues were packed. Plus creation festival introduced me to so many more. I feel like I grew up in the golden age of Ccm. Late 80’s through the 90’s were great for Ccm. You could find any genre of music and so many bands were crossing over. Plus our local Christian tv channel had Tom Green and Lightmusic. Thanks for this article! Really took me back
Paul Clark. Phil. Rez. Larry. Keith. Barry. Petra. Chuck. Andre. Love them all. Just mentioning a few.
This is such a good read, thank you for writing it. I grew up in Albuquerque, NM, and we were blessed to have one of the first FM stations in the country to play this music… 88 KLYT. They went on the air in 1976, and the last time I checked are still broadcasting, though now they are owned by Calvary Chapel and play modern Christian Rock. I was able to serve as a volunteer DJ at KLYT in 1996-1998.
My parents absolutely forbade me to listen to this music (mostly my mom). But I listened every chance I got. My first concert was Petra in 1983, the “More Power to Ya” tour. I was in high school but somehow convinced my parents to let me go with a friend. After I graduated in 1985, I attended a lot of concerts in Abq. sponsored by KLYT… Mylon LeFevre, Randy Stonehill, Leslie Phillips, Bryan Duncan (after Sweet Comfor Band), Bash ‘n the Code, Steve Taylor and Sheila Walsh. I attended ORU in Tulsa and got to see DeGarmo & Key, Petra, Carman, White Heart, The Choir, Undercover, Michael W. Smith and Margaret Becker. I never was able to see Rez Band… would have loved that. About ten years ago I saw Stryper in Denver. Loved it.
Today, I have a lot of this music on my computer and iPhone. There are so many resources now for classic Christian music online. Looking forward to part 2 of your article!
I’m sure you know Randy Rich. I work with him for a station in Sacramento.
Yes, Randy was the CEO/boss when I volunteered there.
A lot of the early Christian rockers spent their time traveling for little money to coffeehouses and bible studies singing their songs. Danny Taylor, Nancy Honeytree, Mike Johnson and Randy Matthews along with a lot of other bands traveled around the midwest and east and never got the praise that went to the West Coast groups. The first Christian rock band I ever heard was The Excursions who worked with Intervarsity and actually sang their songs at the Infamous Chicago democratic convention. There were some real rockers who used to set up on Sunday Morning playing heavy rock attracting crowds and then sharing the gospel. Hope of Glory in Houston sang at a lot of small places. Agape Force did Youth Quake in Houston that had lots of people coming to them
When is Part 2 coming?
Monday – the 22nd. Our schedule for this series will be every other week.
That’s good to know. It’s a very interesting topic.
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Christian music today definitely isn’t the same as it used to be . Now days it pretty much all sounds the same and doesn’t really have a message… Too many groups are focused on making it big ..
Love this article. I have kind of drifted away from Christian radio because it all sounds the same. Contemporary Christian music has been around long enough that we could have a Christian “oldies” station. We could introduce younger generations to the foundation to what is being played today. Keep up the good work brother
To all that seem to think heavy metal Classic Christian music is gone. I recently went and saw Stryper again in concert! I did see some new Christian metal videos on cable last week that sounded pretty . At my age the music from the 70-80s will always sound best to me. I like the article.
I hope you can keep sharing these songs. They really lift you up, and give you strength.
Last Year,I was blessed to experience David and the Giants,David Huff,Clayborn Huff,Rayborn Huff,and Keith Thibodeaux in Pearl,Miss at New Life Christian Fellowship!David and Giants started their 40th Anniversary Celebration year.A live recording was done and CD was released”Live in the Pear L,Mississippi.David and the Giants sounded greater than ever thanks to the Holy Spirit anointing and the service was excellent as peoples needs were met..Later in August 2017,David and the Giants came to Church on the Rock St.Peters.Mo,Just outside St.Louis to do their CD/DVD concert,I was blessed to attend this awesome celebration 40yrs,David and the Giants, The Holy Spirit blessed this service as David and the Giants played and ministered to everyone with testimony about their lives and how Jesus has touched them again the alters were filled with people seeking and Praising the Lord CD/DVD Live will be out very soon Go to DavidHuff.com and checkout it out and read the posts there too about each project.David and the Giants are STILL ROCKIN for Jesus.
Hello, I am writing from Hungary. The article is very interesting, thank you!
I had the privilige, a real miracle, that we had Petra here in 2012, and Ulf Christiansson (Jerusalem) in last year. I have the same feeling that the message of today’s christian pop music is not as strong as it was in the ’80 and ’90. I am trying to follow and look for new and good quality christian music (both in message and music), but when I listen to some pioneers again… they are much better. (I don’t know if you know Chuck Girard, I really like his album: Name above all names)
I would be very interested to know what are your thoughts about Newsboys and TobyMac? I love their music, especially since Michael Tait is in Nwesboys, but what I saw today on their website is a bit strange for me.
I listened to and really enjoyed both the Newsboys and D.C. Talk growing up. I really liked the Newsboys take me to your leader album. Free at last and Jesus Freak by D. C. Talk are classics. I honestly haven’t listened to much of the newer stuff produced by these artists. I didn’t like it as well and I moved on to other things.
Did you move on to third day , switchfoot and jars of clay? That’s what i did
hi, great article. I have already translated into Spanish and I wander if you can give me the permission to share it. of course all credits are given to you. I am part of a website specialized in Christian Metal http://www.metalbreedmagazine.com https://www.facebook.com/MetalbreedM/
Fernando, would you mind sending us the translation so we can review it? A few of us read and speak Spanish. Just send it to email@example.com. Thanks.
It looks good. It would be fine for you to share it with your readers.
Let us know once the translation is up on your site.
Great. I will send you the link when we publish it. I am also going to translate the next part of it and send it to your mail for you to check it. Blessings
Here it is http://www.metalbreedmagazine.com/2018/01/la-historia-olvidada-del-rock-cristiano.html?m=1
I listen to inhimradio.com, which features ccm from the 70s onward. Petra and other oldies are played.
what about Idle Cure?
They will be covered in Part Two which comes out tomorrow.
Thanks for posting. Have you heard the brave – battle cries? I really enjoyed that album, back in the day
Yes, love The Brave. We would have included them in part two – http://ramblingeveron.com/2018/01/22/the-forgotten-history-of-christian-rock-part-two/ except Spotify didn’t have any of that album.
Its a shame they don’t have a bigger collection from that time period. Amazon music doesn’t have much either
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I have so many CD’s from so many great Contemporary Christian Artists. I still closely follow Phil Keaggy, Russ Taff, Susan Ashton, Kim Hill and Paul Clark (Just to name a few) today. The Christian Church seems to have continued to shoot their wounded and to shove aside the wisdom, gifts, and talents that came about not long ago. Possibly rooted in the keeping up with the Jones mentality. So many musicians also think of the Body Of Christ as a stepping stone into “real” professionalism and abandon it once they have graduated into the worldly stream.
I do believe that many of those musicians from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were the Holy Spirit warning the church about the devastating consequences of becoming religious rather than being transformed by the Holy Spirit. I consider it the work of the enemy of Christ. Wash the history of great revival movements out of our minds. The Jesus Movement looms as one of the greatest.
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Just asking: Why is Christian rock considered challenging? Contemporary music has been part of the landscape since the call of Abraham. Why is a particular genre of music more challenging than another? Bach wrote an oratorio every week, including voice parts and instrumentation. All of his music was written to the glory of God. It is some of the most complex music out there. Certainly challenging.
Again, just asking.
I meant to come back to this question and then it completely slipped my mind.
Robin, I’m not exactly sure what it is that you are asking. Would you mind rephrasing it? I’m very intrigued by where you are going with this but I want to be sure we are talking about the same thing.
I was involved with the Jesus Movement in Eastern Washington State, beginning in 1969. A Spokane group known as “The Wilson-McKinley ,” recorded their first “Jesus Rock” record in 1969. It was a live concert with great heart, songs and musicianship, but a poor recording. Over the next three years they released three studio albums of much better audio quality, one of which was “The Spirit of Elijah,” which my brother Terry and I recorded. These albums and more, including some live tracks I recorded in 1971-72 have been remastered by Timothy Smith in California, with the participation and blessing of the original band members, and are available at Timothy’s web site. It was and is great music from those early days, and I encourage you to give them a listen. http://www.tanignak.com/WilsonMcKinleyInfoPage.htm
I will check them out right away. Thanks for the comment!
Enjoyed the article and comments. I was in a Jesus Music band in the 70’s called Damascus Road based in Jacksonville,TX.
Special time, music, and people. Christian life-tough life. Christian music-tough too. Still a Christian singer, songwriter now. Doing the best I can-for Heavens sake!
Thanks for the comment!
This is Blane Lee, 56 years old from Texas. I had a band in the eighties called ‘Sacred’. First off, I knew every name from these playlists quoted and I mean to never dishonor anyone’s music, past or present, but I guess I’m stunned and not able to recover, seeing that my past heroes like Larry Norman and Don Francisco are free will believers. Steve Camp and Stephen Curtis Chapman are not. I can remember many songs from the past era into this one. So I realize that there is not a predestination album that has ever been recorded. Perhaps it is the last frontier. So, I’m recording one in the style of eighties Christian Rock. I sincerely would like someone that believes in predestination to hear the songs and consider putting lead vocals on them. blane
Most Christian music, then to now, was MOR, bad production and even worse musicianship. The exceptions IMHO? Resurrection Band after their first two albums, when the production caught up with the music and message. Phil Keaggy, the same. GREAT musicianship, but horrible production on the first few albums. Norman the same. Solid Rock changed that for him, Stonehill, Daniel Amos and Mark Heard. Daniel Band from Canada, the same thing. Stryper broke the glass ceiling, actually smashed it. U2. Oh, sorry. Too secular, right… But I will argue that some of this disparatey is not their fault. Case in point from almost 30 years ago? King’s X. Production. Musicianship. Not TOO Evangelical. But, in the end, too Christian for the satanists, too secular for all but the most desperate Evangelicals. Today? Stryper still. Should be SO much bigger than they are. Theocracy is another example. Bigger overseas than in the US. Too Christian. Too rock and roll. In heaven we’ll all laugh about such “injustices”, I’ll bet. And then Amy Grant will lead us in worship…
As an old fart, I can weigh in on this. Raised in the church, couldn’t wait to do my own thing. I had a friend who repented in 1977 or 78, can’t recall. He was very enthusiastic but it was all old news to me! But I took him to see a band at our local non-denominational- Rez touring and promoting Awaiting Your Reply. Well, I may have been wanting to rebel against my upbringing, but this rocked! Then I heard Larry Norman on a local Christian Rock spot- FM, you couldn’t play this stuff on AM back then- Moses In The Wilderness. And of course, Petra, Daniel Amos, etc. followed. I still play them to this day! As well as Steve Taylor, another breath of fresh air. And I agree with a lot of what people have posted- when did CCM get so bad? Or is it just me not relating due to my age? it all sounds the same, kind of like flavored water. Either drink water or get something with real flavor, but don’t pretend it’s good!
HELLO PHIL ET AL…
I WAS SAVED JUST PRIOR TO THE JESUS PEOPLE, BUT, GOT FULLY IMMERSED DURING THAT TIME.
SO, I’VE SEEN THE RISE & FALL OF MANY A CHRISTIAN BAND.
2ND CHAPTER OF ACTS
& THE LIST GOES ON…
I DON’T LISTEN TO THE METAL ROCK ANYMORE…I THINK WE GOT OFF THE PATH WITH IT, AS MUCH AS IT TICKLES THE FLESH…AND, YES, I THINK WE COULDN’T LET GO OF THE PROGRESSIVE STUFF FROM THE SECULAR WORLD & THAT’S WHY THESE BANDS WERE CREATED.
THERE’S A SONG THAT I HEAR ON KARI 55 AM OUT OF WASHINGTON STATE – (LISTEN TO THAT STATION EVERY DAY, AS I AM IN VANCOUVER, CANADA)…BUT, THEY DON’T HAVE A PLAYLIST, WHICH MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT TO TRACE TUNES THEY SHARE.
IT SOUNDS LIKE LATE 60S/EARLY 70S CHRISTIAN HIPPIE ERA STUFF – LINE FROM THE SONG GOES ‘WE COME TO WORSHIP YOU, WE COME WITH JOY, WE COME TO CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE.’
CAN’T FIND THE THING ANYWHERE – DOES ANYONE RECOGNIZE THE LYRIC? WHO IS THE BAND? FEMALE LEAD SINGER.
AND, NO LIST WOULD BE COMPLETE W/O –
THE RAMBOS – COUNTRY GOSPEL
A STRONG WARNING ABOUT RUMOUR MILLS ON BANDS/ARTISTS LIKE ‘U2’/RUSH/BOB DYLAN/SOME OTHERS I CAN’T THINK OF, AT THE MOMENT, BEING CHRISTIANS.
THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS – U2’S LEAD SINGER BONO IS STAUNCH NEW WORLD ORDER – I MEAN, HE IS REALLY INTO IT & BOB DYLAN CAME OUT & SAID THAT HE HAD A DEAL WITH ‘THE COMMANDER’ & HE DIDN’T MEAN CHRIST. REMEMBER THIS>SUN TZU PRINCIPLE – WAGING WAR BY DECEPTION – APPLIES TO THE SPIRITUAL, AS WELL.
GOD BLESS ALL,
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