Parable – Illustrations – 1977

One of the often overlooked “Maranatha Bands” of the 1970’s was Parable. They recorded two albums before disbanding. Parable was lead by Chuck Butler, who had previously been a part of the band Country Faith, one of the great Jesus Music bands to never have recorded a full album despite great responses for the songs they had recorded on many different samplers. The first album, More Than Words, was more folk-rock with a country feel. Imagine The Eagles with a male and female lead vocals. the album was very well received. After The Way disbanded guitar virtuoso John Wickham joined the band for this second album and added a significantly more rock sound with some amazing guitar work. Stylistically the band went more pop with a rock emphasis and may remind some readers of early Servant and Petra. But it was really the guitar work that set the album apart along with very strong writing with very memorable hooks. There’s a reason and Come Untangled kick the album off with a strong rock emphasis and straight ahead evangelical messages before “The City” slows things down, at least initially. Sounding similar to a The Eagles or Chicago ballad before kicking into gear and finishing with one of the best guitar solos in Christian Music to that point. The only other albums at that time with such great guitar work were those by Phil Keaggy and Paul Clark. Female vocalist Lisa Faye Irwin takes the reins on several songs including “A Friend,” a song very reminiscent of Servant from the same era. The album is very consistent and memorable throughout, though side 2 is noticeably mellower than side 1, with very impressive production for the time, and far superior to most of the music coming out of Maranatha Music at that time. Both albums have been re-released on CD be the group and is still available as best as I can tell.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – There’s A Reason – 4:30
2 – Come Untangled – 3:24
3 – The City – 5:27
4 – A Friend – 3:23
5 – The Plain Truth – 3:34
6 – Act 3 – 3:55
7 – The Promise – 3:20
8 – Ladder Song – 4:24
9 – Got To Decide – 3:54
10 – A Prayer – 4:08

Arranged By [Horns] – Kim Hutchcroft
Arranged By [Strings] – Jim Stipec
Art Direction – Neal Buchanan
Bass Guitar – Gary Arthur
Drums – Don Kobayashi
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig, Jonathan David Brown
Guest [Vocals] – Becky Ugartechea, Virgil Beckham
Handclaps – Malcolm & The Honeys
Horns – Allen Gregory, Glen Myerscough, Kim Hutchcroft
Illustration – Larry McAdams
Keyboards – Alan DiCato
Layout – Neal Buchanan
Lead Guitar – John Wickham
Lead Vocals – Chuck Butler, Lisa Faye Irwin
Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Organ [B3] – Mike Escalante
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Donnie K.
Producer – Tommy Coomes
Rhythm Guitar – Chuck Butler
Vocals – Alan DiCato, Gary Arthur, John Wickham
Written By – C. Butler

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Martinsound
Mixed At – Martinsound
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ22675

Good News – Good News II – 1977

This is the second album from Good News. Their first album was ranked # 364 on David Lowman’s CCM’s 500 Best Albums Of All Time but this album seems to have sort of been forgotten about. This in part is because it simply isn’t as good as their first album. That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not as good. Sometimes an album just meshes and that would describe their first album. The band essentially stayed the same except for Erick Nelson who was doing a solo project at the time. The album basically picks up where the last one left off but is just missing a little something. It was re-released in 2011 on CD but strangely it was not remastered instead it was just a copy of the album put on the CD, crackles, pops and all.

1 – Wait For The Day – 3:06
2 – Run To The End Of The Highway – 2:48
3 – Lord, We Feel Your Presence – 2:07
4 – Ride Along Rider – 3:00
5 – Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – 2:50
6 – Singing Our Song – 2:48
7 – The Catch – 4:38
8 – You Sure Have Been Good To Me – 3:37
9 – Beside You – 2:57

Acoustic Guitar – Bob Carlisle, David Diggs
Bass – Bill Batstone, Dave Coy
Drums – Art Rodriguez, David Diggs
Electric Guitar, Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Engineer – David Diggs
Engineer – Billy Taylor, Jim Neil
Keyboards – Dave Siebels, Dave Wallace, David Diggs, Keith Green
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Producer – David Diggs
Saxophone – David Luell, Tom Saviano
Strings – Glenn Grab Section
Synthesizer – Dave Siebels, Dave White
Trumpet – Ron King
Vocals – Bill Batstone, Bob Carlisle, David Diggs, Diane Diggs, Kathy Segal, Yvonne Lewis
Woodwind – Al Peña, Leo W. Potts

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Instant Joy Productions
Published By – Sonrise Mercantile Company
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – Instant Joy Productions

Wanda Jackson – Closer To Jesus – 1977

50’s Rocker Wanda Jackson is back with her 6th Christian album and her 26th album overall. Yes this is her 26th album. Now she may have been a rocker in the 50’s but she certainly mellowed out by the 70’s and in fact this album would be best described as country but you can still hear hints of her great work in the 50’s. As good as this album was again she missed out on having a charting CCM single. In fact she never had a charting CCM single. For the life of me I am completely bewildered at this and there had to be some politics involved as her music was for the main part exactly what CCM was looking for. Now if this album doesn’t really appeal to you hang in there because she soon actually did a few more Rockabilly albums and we will be highlighting them soon.

1 – Where I’m Going – 3:13
2 – The World Didn’t Give It To Me – 3:03
3 – The Carpenter’s Son – 3:21
4 – Grandma Sang Off Key – 2:48
5 – He Was There All The Time – 3:24
6 – Closer To Jesus – 3:19
7 – Learning To Lean – 3:51
8 – Gaither Praise Medley – 2:29
9 – Walkin’ In The Spirit – 2:28
10 – He’s Been Through It Too – 3:39

Terry Ross Altman – Crosswalk – 1977

Here’s a self produced and released gem from 1977. The album is a mix of Jesus music and progressive rock with one of the more progressive tracks being over 10 minutes long. Interestingly Terry was able to get Greg Hough (Petra) to join him on a few tracks. Greg played the solos, on Anthem and Crosswalk, and a little bit at the end of Let God Arise but other than that the entire album is Terry. The first time I listened to this album I really got that old Petra vibe but after I was lucky enough to have a chat with Terry I decided to re-listen to the album and quite frankly it stands alone. The must hear track is “Theopsychosophy Blues” which is a great fun track and did get some limited airplay. This was all we ever got from Terry who told me he had written a second album but was called to spoken word ministry before the album got any further. Pity, I for one would have liked to have heard more from him.

1 – Anthem – 6:45
2 – Glory In This – 5:33
3 – Theopsychosophy Blues – 1:34
4 – Let God Arise – 6:19
5 – So Much Joy – 2:46
6 – Crosswalk – 6:11
7 – Under Your Hands (Play Me) – 11:07

Bass – John Nanos
Design – Dona Nanos
Drums – Ed Kotowski
Guitar – Greg Hough
Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals – Terry Ross Altman
Photography By – Henry Posner
Producer [Assistant] – Rich Riehl
Producer [Assistant], Mixed By – Gary Hedden
Saxophone – Jim Koerber
Vocals – Carla Thompson
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Claudia Porter
Written-By, Arranged By, Producer – Terry Ross Altman

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Spiritsword Music, Inc.
Mixed At – Hedden West Studios

Imperials – Sail On – 1977

This album was the start of the Russ Taff era of the Imperials. I was going to say this this is was unarguably their most successful era but in retrospect they had so many era’s that I”m not sure I can say which is their most successful. I think my favourite era was the Paul Smith era but I think this was due to timing as opposed to quality. My actual only criticism of this album is the cover. I think they were going for the singers in a spotlight on a dark stage but instead it just came out all dark and boring. Not the best artwork in my opinion. The album was produced by Chris Christian who was just really coming into his own at this point and this is a very well produced album.

1 – Water Grave – 3:56
2 – Satisfaction Guaranteed – 3:50
3 – Gotta Watch, Gotta Pray – 3:08
4 – More Each Day – 3:28
5 – There Will Never Be Any Peace – 2:59
6 – Sail On – 3:30
7 – Keep On Walking – 2:52
8 – Sonlight – 3:03
9 – Bread On The Water – 3:08
10 – Try Again – 2:59

Lanny Avery – Engineer
Brown Bannister – Engineer, Bells
Peter Bordonali – Guitars
Jerry Carrigan – Drums
Annie Chapman – Songwriter
Steve Chapman – Songwriter
Chris Christian – Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Keyboards, Guitars, Banjo
Steve Gibson – Guitars
Janny Grein – Songwriter
Bill Grine – Songwriter
James Hollihan – Songwriter
Archie Jordan – Arranger
Shane Keister – Keyboards
Kenny Malone – Drums
Armond Morales – Vocals
Farrell Morris – Percussion
Jim Murray – Songwriter, Vocals
Bobby Ogdin – Keyboards
Joe Osborn – Bass
Billy Puett – Horns
Eugene Record – Songwriter
Terry Robinson – Songwriter
Steve Schaeffer – Bass
Don Sheffield – Horns
Sheldon Kurland – Strings
Tim Sheppard – Songwriter
Buddy Skipper – Horns
Shanon Smith – Engineer
Denis Solee – Saxophone
Russ Taff – Songwriter, Vocals
Travis Turk – Engineer
D. Bergen White – Arranger
David Will – Vocals
Jack Williams – Bass
Bobby Wood – Keyboards
Reggie Young – Guitars

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Home Sweet Home Productions
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Overdubbed At – Sound Stage Studios
Overdubbed At – Jack Clement Recording Studios
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

David Meece – I Just Call On You – 1977

This is David’s second album and I totally missed this one back when it came out. I wasn’t the biggest fan of David but I thought I had heard all his work but somehow I had no knowledge of this album. It might be in part because this album didn’t have a charting single. His streak of singles did not start until his next album. The reason I keep pointing out I haven’t heard this album is because it is so good. Again I am not the biggest fan of Meece but I know good music when I hear it. I find his piano work on this album to be some of his best. There certainly isn’t any spectacular orchestral movements here but there are excellent piano melodies. How this album didn’t have a charting single is beyond me. Yet another example of CCM magazine being on another planet at times. The album is strongly easy listening and there’s very little hint of David’s future pop offerings but if you missed this album like I did, take the time to give it a listen.

1 – It’s Gonna Be So Lovely – 2:46
2 – I Just Call On You – 2:37
3 – With Tears In My Eyes – 4:05
4 – God’s Love – 3:01
5 – The Man Who Saved The Fool – 2:45
6 – Follow Me (I’ll Lead You Home) – 3:10
7 – In The Morning – 3:20
8 – Cold October Rain – 3:10
9 – Love Your Brother – 2:33
10 – Do You Know What It’s Like? – 2:50

Arranged By – Archie P. “Buggs” Jordan
Artwork [Cover] – Dennis Hill
Backing Vocals – Gary Pigg, Gwen Moore, Marty McCall
Bass – Jerry Carrigan, Steve Schaffer
Drums – Jerry Carrigan, Jimmy Isbell
Electric Guitar – Steve Gibson
Illustration [Back Cover] – Charles Wallis Inc., Pat Pollei
Keyboards – Bobby Ogdin, David Meece, Shane Keister
Mastered By – Denny Purcell
Photography By – J. T. Morrow
Producer, Recorded By, Remix, Electric Guitar, Drums, Backing Vocals – Chris Christian
Recorded By, Remix, Backing Vocals – Brown Bannister
Saxophone – Denis Solee
Strings – The Shelly Kurland Strings

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Remixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Woodland Studios

Various – Maranatha! Six A Family Portrait – 1977

This is the sixth in the series of well known easy listening Maranatha! Music samplers. Seems strange now to see Daniel Amos and Sweet Comfort (Band) on a sampler like this. Below are the original albums with the tracks.

1 – Karen Lafferty – Beautiful Day – Sweet Communion
2 – Bruce Herring – Perfect Will – Unreleased
3 – Sweet Comfort – Somebody Loves You – Sweet Comfort
4 – Aslan – Who Loves The Lonely – Unreleased
5 – Erick Nelson – He Gave Me Love – The Misfit
6 – Parable – The Plain Truth – Illustrations
7 – Bethlehem – Desert Songs – Bethlehem
8 – Becky Ugartechea – Nightengale – Unreleased
9 – Daniel Amos – Father’s Arms – Shotgun Angel
10 – Bob & Joy Cull – Sail Away – Windborne

1 – Karen Lafferty – Beautiful Day – 4:21
2 – Bruce Herring – Perfect Will – 3:51
3 – Sweet Comfort – Somebody Loves You – 3:01
4 – Aslan – Who Loves The Lonely – 3:54
5 – Erick Nelson – He Gave Me Love – 3:55
6 – Parable – The Plain Truth – 3:33
7 – Bethlehem – Desert Songs – 3:40
8 – Becky Ugartechea – Nightengale – 3:53
9 – Daniel Amos – Father’s Arms – 4:23
10 – Bob & Joy Cull – Sail Away – 4:15

Companies, etc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Maranatha! Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Maranatha! Music

The Wall Brothers – The Door – 1977

Greg and Kraig Wall are back with their second album. I haven’t heard the first one but have read that this one is huge improvement over their first album. Like many seventies act much of the history of the Wall brothers has been lost to time. They appear to have been quite popular at the time and even had a couple charting CCM singles but not off this album. Anyway what we have here is a mainly easy listening seventies style album. It’s quite well done and the brothers dabbled with a bit of Rock & Roll on the track “Since The Day I Was Born” which has a 70’s funk feel and I find myself wishing there were more tracks like this.

1 – Song Of Joy – 1:47
2 – Little Children – 3:01
3 – I Can Depend On You – 3:56
4 – Since The Day I Was Born – 3:49
5 – Can’t You See – 3:47
6 – Sons Of God – 6:30
7 – Isn’t It A Miracle – 2:48
8 – I Never Knew – 2:58
9 – You And I Are One – 3:01
10 – Now We’re Gone – 4:57

Acoustic Guitar – Greg Wall
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Joe Huffman
Art Direction – Dill Beaty
Backing Vocals – Greg Wall, Kraig Wall, Mitch Humphries, Roni Goss
Bass – Roni Goss
Drums – Buster PhillipsElectric
Electric Guitar – Randy Nelson
Engineer – James Goss, Stan Dacus
Guitar – Joe Huffman
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Photography By – Dill Beaty
Piano – Kraig Wall, Lari Goss
Producer – James W. Goss
Remix – Bob Clark
Rhythm Guitar – James Goss
Steel Guitar – Tommy Dodd

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Greentree Records
Copyright (c) – Greentree Records
Recorded At – Mark Five Studios
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Remixed At – Great Circle Sound

Barry McGuire – Have You Heard – 1977

Personally I kind of find this album to be another Barry filler album. I’m not saying the man wasn’t talented but he did put out a few albums that were just sort of there. This is one of those albums in my opinion. That said the track “Communion Song” is definitely a classic worship song that you will even hear today. The track that stands out to me is “Chubby, Chubby” which is a fun song about Christians being fat. It stands out to me because I hate fat shaming (especially when hidden as humour) now and I hated it then. As someone who as a kid (right around 1977) had to hear people make fun of my overweight mother I don’t see the humour in it. Sorry Barry but you struck out on this one.

1 – There Is A Peace – 3:04
2 – Sometime, Someplace – 3:19
3 – Beatitudes – 3:35
4 – Ol’ Branch – 3:11
5 – Chubby, Chubby – 3:26
6 – Communion Song – 3:48
7 – My Lord – 2:34
8 – Good Ole Gospel Feelin’ – 3:04
9 – Light Of The World – 4:13
10 – Don’t Thank Me – 2:41

Arranged By [Strings] – Jimmy Owens
Art Direction – Robert Lockart
Bass – Leland Sklar
Drums – David Kemper
Engineer – Larry Emerine, Randy Cox
Guitar, Guitar [Dobro], Mandolin – Mike Deasy
Percussion – Fred Petry
Photography By – Gary Heery
Piano – Richard Souther
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Remix – Larry Emerine
Vocals – Bili Thedford, Janny Grine, Katherine Ward, Matthew Ward, Mike Deasy, Shirley Matthew’s Singers, The, Terry Oerlich, Terry Talbot

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Quad Teck
Recorded At – Studio 55, Los Angeles
Mixed At – Studio 55, Los Angeles
Distributed By – Word
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Sparrow Records, Inc.

Rockland Road – Planet Time – 1977

OK lets see if I can get the story of where these guys came from right. Follow along now. It all starts with the Oakridge Boys in the early 70’s. In 1974 the backing band for the Oak Ridge Boys put out an album using the moniker “The Oakes Band”. It was on the label “Rockland Road” (foreshadowing alert) which appears to be a tiny label owned by The Oak Ridge Boys”. Then in 1977 Skip Mitchell, Don Breland, and Mark Ellerbee from The Oakes Band did this project. Joining them was Garland Craft and vocalist Christine Lakeland. Now if you made it through that let’s talk about the music. The album was first released in Sweden with 11 tracks and was then released in the United States a few months later with 10 tracks. This is odd as they were an American band and most of the album was recorded in Nashville but I’m sure there’s a good backstory to it. The United States version omitted the #11 Track “Did You?”. That track is included in the playlist as we have uploaded the Swedish version.

The album is great and in fact I would say it is probably a notch up from most of the Jesus Music albums of the day. “For Crying Out Loud” is a pretty good 70’s rocking song but my favourite track is a blues/southern gospel song entitled “The Shelter”. That style will always be timeless. As you can see there’s a few different styles on this album which really was typical of the period. That said they do a great job with all the styles and this will go down as one my favourite 70’s albums.

1 – Planet Time – 5:30
2 – Jesus Wasn’t In It For The Dollar – 2:14
3 – The Shelter – 4:35
4 – I Could Be Forever – 3:04
5 – Somebody Lead Me – 3:38
6 – Alpha And Omega – 1:35
7 – For Crying Out Loud – 3:52
8 – Children – 4:10
9 – All His Love – 3:12
10 – Heaven Is A High Place – 3:12
11 – Did You? – 3:52 (Swedish Version Only)

Skip Mitchell – Guitar
Don Breland – Bass
Mark Ellerbee – Drums
Garland – Keyboards
Christine Lakeland – Voclas