Benny Hester – Legacy – 1983

This was Benny’s best forgotten album. When I read the bio’s on Benny it always seems this album is ignored. I’m a little confused by this as it did have 2 charting singles, Legacy made it to #5, and Melody Man made it to #40. Admittedly that’s not a stunning album but a #5 single shouldn’t be ignored. I know at the time it wasn’t ignored but for some reason history has kind of forgotten about it. One thing that was odd about this album is that at the same time Michael Card came out with an album with the same name. Normally I would have considered this a rather large error but in this case Card was on a relatively smaller label and I doubt that either company knew this was going to happen. By the way The Card album was more successful but in my opinion not as good.

Tracklist
1 – Legacy – 4:44
2 – Closer – 4:39
3 – It Took So Long – 4:30
4 – Melody Man – 3:19
5 – Sensitive Heart – 3:28
6 – Caught Away – 5:08
7 – Out Of The Natural – 3:38
8 – Nobody’s Listening – 4:05
9 – Footprints – 3:54
10 – These Things Were Done By You – 1:53

Credits
Bass – David Coy
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Design – Dennis Hill
Drums, Percussion – Paul Bahn
Guitar, Vocals – Benny Hester
Keyboards – Michael Omartian (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B3)
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Jeff Lams
Lead Guitar – Tony Sena
Orchestrated By, Conductor – Michael Omartian
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Producer – Benny Hester, John Guess
Recorded By – John Guess

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse
Made By – Garrod & Lofthouse

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Benny Hester – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 1981

Benny Hester’s classic “Nobody Knows me Like You” is the very best Adult Contemporary pop album in the history of Christian Music! Hyperbole much? Nay! There will be other album that are classified as AC or pop higher on this list, but most of the albums were not really “current,” commercial vehicles. They appealed to a pop market, but were not actually purely pop music for the day. But NKMLY was in a class all by itself. All the while the CCM market was discovering they had a treasure in Benny Hester the artist, who, over the years, has not only delivered memorable songs, but actual classics that changed and shaped the CCM landscape. Most artists would be honoured to have one song that could be listed among the greatest in the history of the genre, while Hester has a handful! Long before he made a mockery of radio chart records with “When God Ran,” has had made a very potent career of not just brilliant hits, but overwhelming good albums within his genre. Borrowing liberally from the hit music makes of the late 70’s and early 80’s (Hall & Oates, Christopher Cross, Bee Gee’s, Elton John), Hester mastered his songwriting craft early and never slowed down. He was driven to be a recognized artist, all the while he was driven to express his faith in original and honest ways. Unlike the vast majority of his peers, Hester did not release an album every year like clockwork. Often there were a few years between releases and this gave him the opportunity to create great collections of well-written pop music. But no album would surpass his third (second CCM) album. With the album (and many albums like it) it is often the backstory that makes the album so intriguing and lasting. In the late 70’s Hester had record a series of songs and was getting nowhere with record labels. His debut (mainstream) release owns a tragic story and has become a collectors item of sorts. The label he was signed to folded and the warehouse holding the LP’s burned to the ground, destroying most known copies. Only a handful ever found there way into the hands of listeners. I am one those lucky few. Hester took those few songs and drove from Las Vegas to Canoga Park, CA and the then offices of Sparrow Records. Hester sat in the reception office until Bill Hearn (Sr.) finally agreed to meet with him. Hester played the songs for Hearn who signed him on the spot. Those songs and a few others were released as Hester’s “debut,” the self-titled Spirit Label release that was later knows as “Be a Receiver.” Soon after the release of the album, Hester found himself driving across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. By the time he had crossed the bridge he had written the chorus to the song “Nobody Knows Me Like” without an instrument. He spent the rest of the day in San Francisco writing the song that he would forever attached to and that would make Hester one of the most popular CCM artists at the time. Hester went into the studio with a who’s who collection of musicians and emerged several months later with his classic. But the album took longer to get going because his new label (Myrrh) wanted Hester to work with producer, Michael Omartian. No one could blame Hester and the label for waiting to work with Omartian. But the time off also allowed Hester to fine tune his craft. It also gave the industry just enough time to forget who he was, and Hester and the label would have to start all over again and making Hester a known commodity.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Come Back – 4:14
2 – No Man’s Land – 4:13
3 – Rubber Canoe – 4:09
4 – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 4:44
5 – Step By Step – 4:53
6 – One More Time – 4:07
7 – Goodbye Salty – 4:39
8 – Real Change – 4:22
9 – You Loved Me – 4:04
10 – Christ The Solid Rock – 2:22

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Benny Hester
Art Direction – Dennis Hill
Artwork [Special Logo Design] – Tim Barela
Backing Vocals – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Congas – Bobby LaKind
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Yvonne Garcia
Drums – Ron Tutt
Electric Guitar – Martin K. Walsh
Engineer [Second] – Ross Pallone, Steve Crimmel
Engineer, Remix – John Guess
Keyboards – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian
Mastered By – Ken Perry
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer – Michael Omartian
Saxophone – Kim Hutchcroft

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rhema Productions
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Benny Hester – Be A Receiver – 1982

This is a re-release of Benny’s self titled album from 1978. OK so this is the first, second, third, and fourth album Benny put out. How is that possible you ask? Well there was a first album “Benny…” but almost no copies of it reached the public before being destroyed in a fire so the original version of this album was really the first album people could get of his but technically is his second album. Then he released “Nobody Knows Me Like You” in 1981 and then this album was released with a new name “A Receiver” as his third or fourth album . Anyway all that aside lets talk about this album. This album actually pushed the limits of Christian music at the time with some heavy guitar work which while becoming more common at the time was still being cautiously received. I like this album because it doesn’t sound like a leftover 70’s sound instead it has a fresh fun rock sound. It fit well into this 1832 period due to even has a bit of a pop feeling. All in all a great album.

Tracklist
1 – Be A Receiver – 3:18
2 – Squeeze You – 3:51
3 – Sure Of Your Call – 3:20
4 – Jesus Came Into My Life – 3:05
5 – The Door – 4:06
6 – Gonna Happen Here – 3:14
7 – Only You – 3:40
8 – Such A Relief – 3:20
9 – All You Can Do – 2:12
10 – We All Know He’s Comin’ – 3:03

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals – Benny Hester
Arranged By [Strings] – Greg Nelson
Bass – Ed Arnold
Composed By – Benny Hester
Design – Stan Evenson
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – John Parenti
Electric Guitar – Dan Flannery
Engineer – Brent Maher
Engineer [Assistant] – Rich Schirmer
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Jeff Lams
Photography By – Gary Heery
Producer – Brent Maher
Strings – Shelly Kurland Strings

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Benny Hester – Benny Hester – 1978

This is Benny’s self titled release from 1978 on Spirit Records. It was re-released in 1982 by Myrrh Records but was renamed “Be A Receiver”. OK so this is the first, second, third, and fourth album he put out. How is that possible you ask? Well there was a first album “Benny…” but almost no copies of it reached the public before being destroyed in a fire so this is really the first album people could get of his but technically is his second album. Then he released “Nobody Knows Me Like You” in 1981 and then this album was re-released with a new name “A Receiver” as his third or fourth album . Anyway all that aside lets talk about this album. This album actually pushed the limits of Christian music at the time with some heavy guitar work which while becoming more common at the time was still being cautiously received. I like this album because it doesn’t sound like a leftover 70’s sound instead it has a fresh fun rock sound. It even has a bit of a pop feeling which was ahead of its time. All in all a great album.

Tracklist
1 – Be A Receiver – 3:18
2 – Squeeze You – 3:51
3 – Sure Of Your Call – 3:20
4 – Jesus Came Into My Life – 3:05
5 – The Door – 4:06
6 – Gonna Happen Here – 3:14
7 – Only You – 3:40
8 – Such A Relief – 3:20
9 – All You Can Do – 2:12
10 – We All Know He’s Comin’ – 3:03

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals – Benny Hester
Arranged By [Strings] – Greg Nelson
Bass – Ed Arnold
Composed By – Benny Hester
Design – Stan Evenson
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – John Parenti
Electric Guitar – Dan Flannery
Engineer – Brent Maher
Engineer [Assistant] – Rich Schirmer
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Jeff Lams
Photography By – Gary Heery
Producer – Brent Maher
Strings – Shelly Kurland Strings

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Various – Voices – 1987

This was a sampler from Myrrh that featured known and unknown artists. Here is a bit about these artists and their respective tracks;

Tata Vega – “In Your Light” – Tata Vega is a secular artist who had great success in the 70’s with stage musicals. As far as I can tell she never released a Christian album. The track appears to be unreleased.

Bob Carlisle – “Heaven Is Waiting” & “Teach Me How” – Bob Carlisle is best known for being in the band Allies in the 80’s and had several solo projects in the 90’s. Both tracks appears to be unreleased.

Bryan Duncan – “Come As You Are” – Bryan is well known for being in Sweet Comfort Band and then a very successful solo career. The track appears to be unreleased.

Matthew Ward – “Light Of The World” – Matthew is well known for being in
2nd Chapter Of Acts and then a very successful solo career. The track appears to be unreleased.

Howard McCrary – “In Your Presence” – Howard released a solo album in 1985 but is better known for being a member of The California Raisins. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Kim Boyce/John Elefante – “Helpless” – Kim Boyce had several Pop Christian albums in the 80’s. John Elefante is well known as a member of Kansas and as a very successful producer in the Christian music scene. The track appears to be unreleased.

Rick Riso – “Heaven Must Have Sent You” – Rick has released 3 Christian albums and this track appeared on “Shouting At The Walls” as a CD Bonus Track.

Benny Hester – “Then You Call My Name” – Benny is a well known solo Christian artist. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Tommy Funderburk – “Lift Up My Voice” – Tommy is best known for being one of the members of The Front. He did also have a solo album in 2005. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Tracklist
1 – Tata Vega – In Your Light – 3:50
2 – Bob Carlisle – Heaven Is Waiting – 4:29
3 – Bryan Duncan – Come As You Are – 4:32
4 – Matthew Ward – Light Of The World – 4:30
5 – Howard McCrary – In Your Presence – 4:23
6 – Kim Boyce, John Elefante – Helpless – 3:28
7 – Rick Riso – Heaven Must Have Sent You – 3:48
8 – Bob Carlisle – Teach Me How – 4:29
9 – Benny Hester – Then You Call My Name – 3:19
10 – Tommy Funderburk – Lift Up My Voice – 4:14

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Benny Hester – Benny From Here – 1985

This was perhaps Benny’s best album ever. It spawned the single “When God Ran” which is the longest running number one song in Contemporary Christian Music history lasting 13 weeks. I personally loved this album with my favourite track being “Susie Said, Yeah!”. Benny transitioned from the 70’s to the 80’s with great ease. A lot of seventy Jesus music artists struggled with the transition to 80’s Rock or Pop but Benny made it look easy.

Tracklist
1 – Secret Thoughts – 4:40
2 – Streets Of Las Vegas – 3:54
3 – When God Ran – 4:57
4 – Susie Said, Yeah! – 3:15
5 – To Fill Our Empty Hearts – 4:22
6 – Back To Basics – 4:23
7 – Can I Get To You From Here – 3:44
8 – Whoever Touches You – 3:36
9 – Marching On – 3:20
10 – Hold Me – 4:47

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Roland Young
Bass – Neil Stubenhaus
Creative Director – Tom Willett
Drums, Percussion – John Robinson
Executive-Producer, Management – Brad Burkhart
Guitar – Dann Huff
Keyboards – Alan Pasqua, Charlie Olins
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Dennis Mackay
Percussion – Keith Edwards
Photography By – Mark Hanauer
Producer – Dan Posthuma
Recorded By – Daniel Garcia, David Schober, John “Beverly” Jones
Recorded By, Producer [Associate Producer] – Jeremy Smith

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Music Grinder Studios
Recorded At – Redwing Studios
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Recorded At – Suma Recording Studio
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – Δ26991
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Suburban Madness Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Company

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