Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A mix of my favorite thrift store finds of the christian persuasion, the culmination of many rainy Sunday afternoons spent in the musty aisles of Goodwill in search of oddball private pressings by christian hillbillies. (I reckon I ought to pray for sunshine now that nearly half my ipod is inhabited by artists from the Myrrh record label, home of Amy Grant). It's a mixed bag with a little something for everyone: zealotrock, god-fearing disco, conventcore, righteous country, evangelopop, goodie-folk, knee-bender funk, jesus cheese -- and a few public service announcements brought to you by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The Sons of Light - Genesis (I Walk Free, 1977, Christ In Youth, Inc.) Jesus said "while you have the light, believe in the light in order that you may become the sons of light" (John:12:36). This Cincinnati quartet prays that as you enjoy their music, you too will be directed to the light of the world who can lead you to walk as freely as they do.

Barry McGuire - In The Beginning (Polka Dot Bear : The Story Of Creation, 1980, Birdwing Records) Best known for his hit 'Eve of Destruction', Barry got his start on the Andy Williams Show as the gravelly voiced lead singer of The New Christy Minstrels, and was later cast as the male lead in the original Broadway production of Hair. In 1971 he found his answer to the eve of destruction by stumbling into the Fullness of Truth. He left Broadway, put on a bear costume and set out to do whatever he could to bring about positive change.
New Joy - I Came To Praise The Lord (The Church Triumphant, private pressing, 1970) Karen, Mindy, and Joan met as nursing students at the Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. Drawn together by a common love for thermometers and Jesus, they soon became naughty nurses who skipped shifts at the hospital to cut this record.

Sister Dori Helms - I Feel The Power (I Feel The Power, 1974, Faith Records) Dori is so thankful to have the Love of the Lord in her heart and bring you this song, written by Earl Brooks and recorded in Nashville at Varsity Recording Studios. She is also pleased to have her own husband, Bobby Helms, doing a fine service for the Lord by producing this record.

Medical Mission Sisters - Howl, My Soul (Joy Is Like The Rain, 1966, Avant Garde Records) An album of original songs by Sister Miriam Therese Winter, songs that were never really written, never really planned, they just happened spontaneously as Sister Miriam sat alone with her guitar in the fields and on the hill. She shared these songs first with the eleven Medical Mission Sisters... and now with Philadelphia and the entire world.

Love Song - Let Us Be One (Love Song, 1972, Good News Records) A band that came out of Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel, which started in 1965 in Santa Mesa, California with 25 members and now has over 15,000 throughout the world. The band was founded in 1970 by Chuck Girard, Tommy Coomes, Jay Truax, and Fred Field, and their classic debut is considered by many to be one of the greatest Christian albums of all time. Richard Roberts & The World Action Singers - Spend A Little Love (Music From The Oral Roberts Summer TV Special, 1970, Light) "Spend a buck or two, I guess that's fun to do, you'll be sure to get just what belongs to you". It appears Richard went a little overboard with the spending but forgot about the consequences: he recently resigned his position as the president of Oral Roberts University after being accused of spending university funds for extravagant family vacations and shopping sprees. This song was recorded during his presumably more innocent days, when he accompanied his father on evangelistic crusades and performed on his television specials. Koinonia - The Giver Of Life (Koinonia, 1971, private pressing) "In less than two years a group of dedicated youngsters at Kentucky Wesleyan College has become well-known through much of Kentucky as Koinonia, a Greek word meaning fellowship. They are known not so much for themselves as for their ability to communicate the love of Christ."

Silverwind - Your Love (Silverwind, 1980, Sparrow Records) Emerged from the Agape Ministry, which apparently has its own commercial airlines. Take me, o morning star, on a silverwind to that place far, far away... from 80s christian disco! Pam Mark - Love Not The World (Flying, 1975, Aslan Records) Not a lot of information about this California native who was discovered by John Fisher and recorded her debut in 1975.
But we do know, according to her myspace page, that her favorite travel destinations include Martha's Vineyard, Santa Fe, Oslo, and San Miguel De Allende. DR Hooker - The Bible (The Truth, 1972, private pressing, reissued by Subliminal Sounds) Just your typical early seventies Connecticut hippie philosopher who concocted a homemade lounge-psych masterpiece, and now 25 years later his long white robes are going for upwards of $80,000 on ebay. Joe Wise - A Creed (A New Day, 1970, Fontaine House) Joe discusses his religious beliefs as well as his belief in a certain import car and slimming breakfast cereal. St. Louis Jesuits - Exult You Just Ones (Gentle Night, 1977, North American Liturgy Resources) The St. Louis Jesuits are liturgical music icons from the 1970s, and according to a recent report in an Omaha Catholic newspaper, they are back together and have released their first album in more than 20 years. "It really was a wonderful experience and very nostalgic and heartwarming to record together again," Don Schutte said in a phone interview. "Beyond the recording, it was just a wonderful experience of spending companionship time together." Let us pray the Spice Girls reunion is this successful. The New Life Singers - Where Has He Gone (New Direction and New Life, private pressing, 1971) The Trinity Baptist Church Youth Choir in Spokane, Washington. Directed by Mrs. Merrily Lowry. Gary & Janis - In The Peace Of God (The Friend, 1968, Prestige Productions) Gary Smith's dilated eyes glared coldly through the iron bars of a jail cell in Birmingham. Mythical visions of nonexistent surroundings whirled through his mind as he sat under the influence of LSD. He was to face a prison sentence for possession of narcotics. As the disillusioned youth awaited further questioning by the police he suddenly realized how far he must be from God. His life unfolded before him and in the final moment of conviction, he called to God. And God listened. Redemption - Jesus Knows (Gone Fishing, 1974, Triumphonic Recordings) Formed in New Jersey by the Salvation Army in the mid-seventies as an attempt to promote Christian funk, the nine-piece band consisted of musicians who had grown up playing in the salvationist church and reflected the high standard of musicianship within the Army community. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - Never Get Enough (You're My Praise, 1984, Dayspring) The 300-member voice gospel choir based at the Brooklyn Tabernacle was organized in the early seventies but did not record its first album until 1981. At the helm is Carol Cymbala, who did not know how to read music when she started the choir, but wrote countless songs that are enjoyed throughout the world. Today the Choir is one the biggest inter-racial choirs in America. Evie - Clean Before My Lord (Evie Again, 1975, Word Records) Daughter of Norwegian immigrants, Evie Tornquist's career began while visiting Norway as a teenager when a friend made an arrangement for her to appear on a popular late-night TV talk show. After that, the invitations to perform poured in from around Scandinavia and soon around the world. The Yoder Family - Take Up Thy Cross (Christ I Can, 1969, Gladwyn Records) "Wayne Yoder is pastor of a small country church in the Ozarks and works as a finish carpenter to support the family. Gladys is a full-time homemaker with everything that involves, plus being the pastor's wife. Ernie is in the first grade, Barbara is in the fifth, Janet in the 8th, and Stanley is a sophomore in high school. Although the family is growing up and Jeanie is now in her first year of Bible Institute of in Canada, there is still a close tie among the Yoder Family."

The New Creation - Eternity Ahead (Troubled, 1970, Alpha Omega Records - reissued by Companion Records) Lorna Towers, a British born mother of five, and her 24-year old son Curtis created the band to offer a "direct response to the drug scene." Only 100 copies of the record were pressed on their own record label Alpha Omega for a total cost of $750 Canadian. (Luckily one of those ended up in an Indianapolis Goodwill and its proceeds are currently paying off my bookie). Promotional records were sent to Christian radio stations throughout Canada and the US but garnered no response whatsoever. The band drifted into complete obscurity until the Companion Records reissue. Andrae Crouch & The Disciples - I've Got Confidence (Keep On Singin', 1971) His songs have been sung by Elvis, Paul Simon, hippies and mainstream churches, as well as his fellow black Pentecostal Christians. He also worked as a producer or arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna (Like A Prayer), and Rick Astley (Cry For Help). Ralph Carmichael & Pat Boone - The Addict's Psalm (The Cross & The Switchblade, 1970, Light Records) The tiny religious label, Light, based in Waco, Texas released Ralph Carmicheal's great funk score to the film, based on the true story of pastor David Wilkerson's mission to turn the disillusioned youth of the New York ghetto away from drugs and violence. The film stars Pat Boone as David Wilkerson and Erik Estrada as Nicky Cruz, a teen gang member whose life is transformed by David Wilkerson's ministry. Sons Of Light - When I Think Of All He's Done (I Walk Free, 1977, Christ In Youth, Inc.) Once again, this album is all about the light of the world, the one who sets men free. Rick Murray, Jim Bush, and Jim Syder combine their rich voices in one of the most pleasing sounds in Christian music today. Carman - Get Outta My Life (Comin' On Strong, 1984, Myrrh) Born Carmen Dominic Licciardello on January 19, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey. According to Carman, it was after seeing an Andrae Crouch concert that he decided to join the Christian faith. I wonder what bozo convinced him change the spelling of his name? The Swordsmen - Life (Revival Fires, 1974, Wesley Records) Revival fires, the Swordsmen's sixth album, is a great revelation of how this inspired group of dedicated young evangelists feel about the God they love. Terry Rhyne, Mike Randolph, Sam Rothrock, and Don Hutchins desire your prayers as they continue to sing and preach, that many will be saved, and that wherever they travel, God will send Revival Fires. Anita Gospel Singers - I'm Willing Lord (I'm Willing Lord, Private Pressing, 1966) Anita, Rose, and Nellie have been singing the songs of the Gospel for about 3 years. As members of the First Pentecostal Church of Bordeaux Tennessee, their singing is enjoyed by that congregation, as well as many churches throughout Middle Tennessee. Barry McGuire - Birdsong (Polka Dot Bear : The Story Of Creation, 1980, Birdwing Records) An encore by the Polka Dot Bear. Don Horsley & The "Go Ye" Team - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1971, Crusade Records) This family from Portsmouth, Ohio traveled all the way to Flora, Illinois to spread God's word. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost. Lee Castro - Guilty of Love (He Touched Me, 1968, Vision Records) As a teenager, Lee was a member of a Pachuco teenage gang of thugs. Lee became the main target of a rival gang and was sentenced to die by being knifed to death. One night he found himself running alone through the dark streets of Corpus Christi with the rival gang in pursuit "like a fox being chased by a pack of wolves". Lee ran home, locked his door, fell to his knees and prayed. He gave his life to Jesus and felt the touch of the Master's hand. "He touched me, and made me whole". However he still got knifed to death a year later. Gary S. Paxton - The Big A = The Big M (Terminally Weird But Godly Right, 1978, Pax) The most insane anti-abortion song you will probably ever hear, from the man whose own label, Pax Records, folded due to his notorious drug problems. He was also accused of having an affair with Tammy Faye Bakker, and in 1980 he was shot in the head five times by hit men hired by a country singer he was producing. After the trial, like any true Christian, Gary visited the gunmen in prison and forgave them. SPRINKLED THROUGHOUT ARE 30-SECOND "BRITE SPOTS" (BRITE SPOTS, 1977, SUNSPOT PRODUCTIONS) BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH.


Salman Kushtie said...

A great cathedral of song. I shall find no peace in this world until the Yoder family agree to adopt me.


Great stuff, here. I actually came across your blog while Googling 'Dave Wilkerson'. His sermon LPs are favourites of mine - trying to see what else he's done.

I've got a few hundred unusual gospel records, sometimes have to pass a few up at the thrift stores - but always see new ones.

Muddy said...

Very nice. I don't know why I like this stuff, but I do. Thanks