Larry Norman – Only Visiting This Planet – 1972

OVTP is part 1 of Larry’s trilogy, which contains his iconic songs that lasted throughout his career. He never stopped performing “Reader’s Digest” and “The Outlaw” in concerts. Also included is the second studio release of “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” which is his most famous song for people who don’t know who Larry was. The first was on Upon This Rock, released through Capitol Records before he started releasing music through his own channels. In its original form, these are protest songs and relationship songs intertwined. The setting is 1972 and Larry went into the studio with the ideas that were floating in the air in California. Larry’s desire to be as counter-cultural as the hippy movement, but as a Christian drives the content. The songs are highly contemporary musically, ranging from folky in “The Outlaw” to rock in “I Am The Six O’Clock News.” The content gets deeply personal in songs like “I’ve Got To Learn To Live Without You,” and “Pardon Me.” These songs were confusing for Christian music fans because they did not talk about Jesus. The refreshing part here was that Larry was actually willing to talk about human problems. This extended into his political and social protests in the rest of the songs. Larry makes no attempt to hide the Gospel in his music, but also makes no attempt to pretend that human issues don’t need to be addressed, spoken about, preached about and sung about. This is truly what made Larry stand out as an artist.

1 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus – 4:03
2 – The Outlaw – 3:55
3 – I’ve Got To Learn To Live Without You – 3:36
4 – Without Love You Are Nothing – 3:33
5 – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – 5:21
6 – Six O’Clock News – 6:06
7 – Great American Novel – 4:31
8 – Pardon Me – 3:38
9 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 2:40
10 – Readers Digest – 2:42
11 – Oh, How I Love You –

Acoustic Guitar – Gordon Giltrap, Roger Hand
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Chris Gunning
Backing Vocals – Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Bass – John Wetton
Drums – Keith Smart
Engineer – Bill Price
Lead Guitar – Mickey Keen
Photography By – Pam Norman
Piano – Bob Brady, Larry Norman, Rod Edwards
Producer – Jon Miller, Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Written-By – Larry Norman

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Triumvirate Productions
Produced For – Street Level Productions, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – MGM Records, Inc.
Pressed By – H.V. Waddell Co.
Manufactured By – MGM Records, Inc.
Published By – Strawbed Music
Published By – Jace Love Music Pub. Co.
Published By – Beechwood Music Corp.

Mylon – Over The Influence – 1972

This is a Mylon album from a time of his troubles in the early 70’s. Mylon knew he wanted to do gospel music but Rock & Roll being what it is Mylon was having addiction issues. In fact some have argued that we shouldn’t be posting album from this part of Mylon’s career but I believe Mylon was doing some great work even in this troubled time. It was all part of Mylons trip to being the spectacular testament he was. This album has some great covers including “Mama, You Been On My Mind” by Dylan, “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins, “My Lady” by Mountain, and “He’s Not Just a Soldier” by Little Richard. We have 2 traditional gospel songs and an assortment of his own writings. In my opinion the best track on the album is “Working On A Building”. This album has a spot in Christian music history and we’re proud to present it.

1 – Mama, You Been On My Mind – 2:54
2 – Blue Suede Shoes – 2:55
3 – Down By The Riverside – 1:00
4 – My Lady – 4:37
5 – Kickin’ – 1:51
6 – Working On A Building – 4:54
7 – I Am What I Am – 2:55
8 – I’ll Fly Away – 2:17
9 – I’m Flying #1 (For Fee) – 3:09
10 – He’s Not Just A Soldier – 3:08
11 – For The Record – 3:20
12 – Waymaker – 4:11

Backing Band – Holy Smoke
Backing Vocals – Holy Smoke Singers
Bass – Tom Robb
Drums, Backing Vocals – Marty Simon
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro, Sitar – Auburn Burrell
Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar – J.P. Lauzon
Electric Guitar – Barry Bailey
Harmony Vocals, Backing Vocals – Pat Cummings, Renay Garvin, Steve Sanders, Tina Blount
Keyboards – Lester Langdale
Keyboards – Alan Toussaint
Piano – Dr. John
Producer – Alan Toussaint
Slide Guitar – Leslie West
Vocals – Mylon LeFevre

The Crimson Bridge – The Crimson Bridge – 1972

When the concept of important groundbreakers in Jesus Music and CCM is discussed, the names most often considered are Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy and maybe even Bill Gaither and Ralph Carmichael. But one name that should be mentioned in the same breath is the legendary Thurlow Spurr. Spurr served as Music Director for Youth for Christ International, and in that capacity created several travelling “youth music pioneers.” Most notably the Spurrlows, the group that bore his name. But also birthed from his outreach work was a group called Re’Generation. And born out of members of both groups came the psychedelic, folk, pop, jazz, Latin, funk band Crimson Bridge. Horns, guitars, driving bass and pounding drums and cymbals, the church in 1972 was not ready for Crimson Bridge. Not only was the music way ahead of the average church music, the lyrics were also at times a little edgy for the day, incorporating terms like “baby,” “blow your mind,” and “havin’ a good time.” There are also plenty of grunts, screams and “all rights” thrown into the mix, especially in the lead off track, “Better Times.”. Think touches of Blood, Sweat and Tears and incorporating a Mamas and the Papas harmony. The latter comparison is most notable on the ballad, “Easy Ways.” The next few songs maintain a mellower, folk like sound. But then the funk returns with “Birthright,” a funky, soulful tune with plenty of bass and trumpet driving the track. But it’s side two that eventually would garner Crimson Bridge their greatest accolades. Three lengthy psychedelic, progressive “suites” or movements, that walk through the conversion experience using both lyrics and musical composition to provide the mood and passion. Not only are the three movements vastly different, there are multiple changes within each movement that make it sound more like a rock opera the pop album. Lasting about 20 minutes combined, this truly set the group apart, especially so early in the Jesus Music experiment. Myrrh must have been a bit uneasy releasing such a progressive and creative album. Fortunately for us, they did.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Better Times – 3:15
2 – Easy Ways – 2:34
3 – Comin’ – 4:07
4 – He’s Alive – 4:10
5 – Birthright – 3:45
6 – First Suite – 1st Movement (Searching In Reality) – 6:16
7 – First Suite – 2nd Movement (Experience) – 5:26
8 – First Suite – 3rd Movement (The Beginning Of Joy) – 8:26

Norm Bakker – Trumpet
Dave Dyer – Bass
Russ Gregory – Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals
Carol Healy – Flute, Vocals
Billy Ray Hearn – Producer
Roger Heuser – Trombone
Gary Rand – Songwriter
Trish Rattan – Vocals
Carolyn Shafer – Keyboards, Vocals
Gary Shafer – Drums
Terry Winch – Songwriter, Trumpet

Companies, etc.
Printed By – West Brothers Printers Limited
Published By – Word (Uk) Ltd.

Randy Matthews – All I Am Is What You See – 1972

This is Randy’s second album and it marked an important change in CCM music that many may not know about. He was under contract to Word records but they were very hesitant to release this album as the felt it went a little too far into the world of Rock. As such it was decided by Word would open a subsidiary label called Myrrh to handle the “Jesus Music” market. This changed the whole industry as it condoned releasing Rock music even if you had to do it a little sneakily. Of course Myrrh went on to be a dominant face in the Christian music industry. Anyway on to the album. It is definitely a more Rock oriented album than his premiere but seems relatively tame compared to what would come in the industry. His acoustic guitar work is excellent and I particularly like the track “Important Things” which while a little gimmicky it has a great message even in current times. If you missed this one back in the day listen to it now as it really was a game changer in the industry.

1 – Revolutionary Cause – 3:02
2 – All I Am Is What You See (Self Portrait) – 2:20
3 – Johnny – 3:30
4 – Power Through You, People – 3:02
5 – Time To Pray – 3:29
6 – Sunny Day – 2:59
7 – Leader Liberator – 2:25
8 – Flesh Of My Flesh – 3:10
9 – Important Things – 2:05
10 – Country Faith – 2:10

Arranged By, Conductor – Bergen White
Engineer – Les Ladd
Music By, Lyrics By – Randy Matthews
Photography By [Cover] – Bill Grine
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Pressed By – Columbia Records of Canada, Ltd.

Ron Salsbury And The J.C. Power Outlet – Ron Salsbury And The J.C. Power Outlet – 1972

This is the first of two albums by Ron Salsbury And The J.C. Power Outlet. The second one is the one most people know about but this is where it started. Ron Salsbury And The J.C. Power Outlet were one one of the first bands signed to the new Myrrh records. Most of the early Myrhh bands leaned to the easy listening style but these guys were a straight up Rock & Roll band. The album has the standard seventies Jesus Music album structure. Some great rock tunes, a couple ballads, and the mandatory country song, but these guys did it well. Here’s the real trivia about this album. Playing harmonica was Dave Edwards who would later become known to us as David Edwards the New Wave CCM pioneer.

1 – Suddenly – 3:35
2 – Back Home – 4:08
3 – Long Time Comin’ – 3:50
4 – Love Song – 4:03
5 – Denominations – 2:43
6 – Nick Of Time – 2:19
7 – Don’t Shine It On – 4:10
8 – Lord It’s In Your Hands – 3:55
9 – Satisfied – 4:50
10 – Real Peace – 4:35

Bass Guitar – Greg Prough
Drums, Percussion – Rick Frye
Engineer – Paul Elmore
Fiddle – Richie Yenoukian
Harmonica – Dave Edwards
Keyboards – Steve Kennedy
Lead Guitar – John Pantano
Lead Vocals – Ron Salsbury
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Eric Skipsey
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Rhythm Guitar – Ron Salsbury
Trombone – Bid Wallace
Vocals – Greg Prough, John Pantano

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc. – 1972
Pressed By – Capitol Records Pressing Plant, Los Angeles

Good News – New Life – 1972

I will have to admit when i grabbed this album I was not too optimistic. It is on the BBC home label and The Salvation Army holds the copyright on the alum. Then there’s the album cover which shows the band all wearing suits. So it was with great trepidation that I listened to this one. Well my fears were completely unfounded. This is a great 70’s Rock & Roll album. This album goes one step further than most Jesus music albums of the period. The guitar work at times convinced me I might be listening to Keith Richards, but alas I’m listening to some guy called Kevin Burton who would never do any other published work. This is probably one of the best rocking Jesus Music albums of the period and it now falls in as one of my favourites of the era.

1 – Spirit – 4:21
2 – Go Peacefully – 3:17
3 – New Life – 4:53
4 – Shape Of Things To Come – 3:12
5 – Best Way Of All – 3:08
6 – You Need My Lord – 2:43
7 – Everybody Sing – 3:07
8 – Maureen & Billy – 4:05
9 – Looking Good – 2:59
10 – I Am Much More – 4:06
11 – Long Lost Cause – 3:40
12 – Kum Bay Ya – 3:04

Bass Guitar, Vocals – Lio Fivaz
Composed By, Arranged By – Bill Davidson
Coordinator – Sylvia Cartner
Drums, Vocals – Roger Woodrow
Lead Guitar, Piano, Vocals – Kevin Burton
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano – Bill Davidson
Producer, Liner Notes – Ralph Rolls
Sleeve, Design, Photography By – Andrew Prewett
Vocals, Tambourine – Ellen Schram

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – The Salvation Army
Copyright (c) – BBC London

Jesus Sound Explosion – 1972

It’s not too often I get to post an album with Johnny Cash on it but this is the one. This album could not be purchased but instead was sent to attendees of the 1972 EXPLO music festival. The EXPLO festival was put on by Campus Crusade for Christ and there were actually 7 days to the festival in Dallas TX. If you were there you could order the album and it would be mailed to you later. The festival was able to get all the performer’s record companies to allow this album to be distributed. I suspect one of the conditions was that it would not be commercially sold. This album has the broadest style of performers I’ve ever heard. Everything from Larry Norman (Rock) to Connie Smith (Country) to Willa Mae Dorsey (Southern Gospel). It’s an enjoyable album but the abrupt genre changes can be a bit startling. This album is a piece of CCM history. Were you there? Leave a comment below and tell us what it was like.

Printed on the jacket;
“This album is not for sale. This album was produced for the sole purpose of offering to the EXPLO ’72 television audience musical reminders of this historic congress. This album is sent to individuals who let the ministry of Campus Crusade For Christ International know that they are interested in receiving this album. Material on this album was recorded live at EXPLO ’72 in Dallas, Texas, June 12-17, 1972. Special arrangements with the artists and their record companies have made this album possible.”

1 – Johnny Cash – I See Men As Trees Walkin’ – 3:18
2 – Armageddon Experience – One Way – 3:35
3 – Randy Matthews – Didn’t He – 4:26
4 – Andraé Crouch & The Disciples – I’m Satisfied – 3:37
5 – Larry Norman – Sweet Song Of Salvation – 3:55
6 – Great Commission Company – Anticipation – 3:05
7 – Danny Lee & The Children Of Truth – Spread A Little Love Around – 2:56
8 – Connie Smith – Plenty Of Time – 4:13
9 – Forerunners – Lord – 2:44
10 – Willa Dorsey – I Have The Joy In My Soul – 2:45
11 – Love Song – A Love Song (Narration Of I Corinthians 13) – 5:40
12 – The Speer Family – The King Is Coming – 3:48

Wilson McKinley – Heaven’s Gonna Be A Blast! – 1972

The origins of Wilson McKinley are a rather odd story that I won’t really get into but this is the relevant part. They started as a band called “The California Poppy Pickers” and they released an album of cover tunes in 1969 and it sold well. They took the profits form that album and used them to produce a 7″ demo in 1970. This was the end of their secular career as they became Christians in 1970. They proceeded to start self releasing albums through the early 70’s. This is their 3rd album and probably the best known. The album has a bit of a Allman Brothers sound but basically is your standard fare 70’s Jesus Music album. The wild cover was a black light feature in case you are wondering.

1 – Standin’ At The Crossroads
2 – I’m Only Smiling
3 – He Made Us Free
4 – Then I Fell In Love
5 – I Wish I Had The Words To Tell You
6 – Heaven’s Gonna Be A Blast!
7 – Never Cry No More
8 – A Warm Summer Day
9 – Almighty God

Design – Johnny T’s House Of Design
Drums, Percussion, Cover, Artwork [Label] – Tom Slipp
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Mike Messer
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Bass – Jimmy Bartlett
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Grand Piano, Electric Piano – Randy Wilcox
Liner Notes – Timothy Smith
Mastered By – Dingbat Lacquer Sound Disc
Photography – Dave Joern