White Heart – Freedom – 1989

Freedom is the sixth studio album by White Heart and their last with Sparrow Records though Sparrow would continue distribution under an arrangement between the Sparrow Records and Star Song labels. This was also the last album for Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy and Chris McHugh. I guess you could say this album marked a end of a chapter for the band. I read a few reviews of this album and some reviewers thought this was one of their best if not their best album. I don’t really fall in that camp of reviewers. It’s a pretty good album and there’s a track or two that will make it into my rotation but their best? Not really. The album is a nice mix of CCM singles with 3 making it to the charts and “The River Will Flow” doing the best at #13 There’s also a couple power tracks that are more my style. So my final rating is pretty darn good and has enough different style to satisfy most listeners.

1 – Bye Bye Babylon – 4:06
2 – Sing Your Freedom – 4:59
3 – Let the Kingdom Come – 5:04
4 – Over Me – 5:19
5 – Eighth Wonder – 4:25
6 – Power Tools – 4:20
7 – Invitation – 4:53
8 – The River Will Flow – 6:55
9 – Set the Bridge on Fire – 4:31
10 – Let It Go – 4:15
11 – I’ll Meet You There – 4:22

Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn, Larry Vigon
Backing Vocals – White Heart
Band [White Heart Is] – Billy Smiley, Chris McHugh, Gordon Kennedy, Mark Gersmehl, Rikk Florian, Tommy Sims
Design – Larry Vigon Studio
Engineer [Additional Engineer] – Byron House
Engineer [Assistant Engineers] – Carry Summers, Kevin Twit, Mark Nevers, Paula Montondo, Shawn McLean, Steve Bishir, Todd Moore
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Lead Vocals – Rikk Florian (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 to 11)
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer [Produced By] – Brown Bannister
Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – The Castle Recording Studios
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Songs Of PolyGram International, Inc.
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Kid And The Squid Music

CD Cover
CD Back

White Heart – Live At Six Flags – 1986

This White Heart live album was recorded on April 20 1984 at Six Flags Over Texas. Confusingly the album “Chris Christian With Whiteheart – Live At Six Flags” was recorded on the same day and released at the same time. This appeared to be the brilliant thinking of Chris Christian and I’m at a loss to see how he thought this was a good idea. Anyway I have covered the Chris Christian album previously so I was interested to hear how this one compared. This album is definitely more upbeat but it feels like the band definitely turned it down for this event. The same day as this was recorded the Imperials played so between these 3 concerts this was definitely the most upbeat. The album is enjoyable and the music is good but usually live albums turn things up a notch but in this case it appears they turned it down a notch. That said it is nice to hear the original band lineup play the songs that brought them onto the CCM scene and if you’re a White Heart fan you’ll probably enjoy the album but it’s certainly not the best live album I ever heard and in fact is not even in the top 20.

1 – Sing Unto The Lamb – 3:20
2 – Carried Away (Safe On The Wings Of The Lord) – 4:15
3 – Nothing Can Take This Love – 6:35
4 – We Are His Hands – 3:50
5 – Hosanna – 3:50
6 – Undercover – 3:58
7 – Quiet Love – 4:00
8 – Vital Signs – 5:27
9 – Carry On – 3:35
10 – He’s Returning – 2:50

John Allman – Engineer
Jeff Balding – Engineer
Steven Curtis Chapman – Songwriter
Chris Christian – Executive Producer, Engineer
Scott Douglas – Vocals
Mark Gersmehl – Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
Wally Grant – Engineer
Dann Huff – Songwriter, Guitars, Vocals
David Huff – Drums, Percussion
Dan Humann – Engineer, Mixed
Gary Lunn – Songwriter, Bass
Jack Joseph Puig – Engineer
Billy Smiley – Songwriter, Guitars, Vocals
White Heart – Producer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Distributed By – Word (UK) Ltd.
Recorded At – Six Flags Over Texas
Overdubbed At – Gold Mine Studio East
Overdubbed At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.

WhiteHeart – HotLine – 1985

This was the 3rd studio album from WhiteHeart and there were a few firsts and lasts as far as band members went. It was the last for Scott Douglas & David Huff, and the first for Gordon Kennedy. This was also the first album for them on Home Sweet Home Records, a label owned by Chris Christian. The same year as this album came out Douglas was charged with aggravated sexual battery and was sentenced to prison in early 1986. In my opinion this would have killed any Christian Band but somehow they survived this. I can not imagine the horror in the band when they found out about Douglas’s actions. How they worked though this is absolutely beyond me and the fact they soldiered on is really a testament to the fortitude of the band members. The album had 2 CCM singles with “Jerusalem” making it to #3, and “In His Name” making it to #19.

1 – Hotline – 4:14
2 – Gotta Be A Believer – 4:21
3 – Jerusalem – 3:50
4 – Turn The Page – 4:55
5 – She’s A Runaway – 3:40
6 – Heroes – 4:36
7 – In His Name – 4:14
8 – The Victory – 4:22
9 – Walls – 2:35
10 – Keep Fighting The Fight – 3:08

Art Direction – Bill Brunt
Bass – Gary Lunn
Drums – David Huff
Engineer – Bob Graves (tracks: B4)
Engineer [Second On Tracks] – Clarke Schleicher
Engineer [Second] – David Pierce, Sam Bailey
Executive Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar, Producer, Keyboards – Billy Smiley
Lead Guitar – Gordon Kennedy
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Music By, Words By – Mark Gersmehl (tracks: A2 to B5)
Percussion – David Huff
Photography By – Mark Tucker, Ron Keith, Scott Bonner
Producer, Vocals, Keyboards – Mark Gersmehl
Recorded By, Mixed By – Brent King
Vocals – Billy Smiley, Gordon Kennedy, Scott Douglas
Words By – Billy Smiley (tracks: A1 to B1, B3, B4), Mark Gersmehl (tracks: A2, A3, A5 to B5)
Words By, Music By – Dana Key (tracks: A3), Eddie DeGarmo (tracks: A3), Gordon Kennedy (tracks: B3), Larry W. Stewart (tracks: B3), Scott Douglas (tracks: A1)

Companies, etc.
Mastered At – Mastermix
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Overdubbed At – Gold Mine Studio
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – Δ26727
Published By – Paragon Music
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Hall-Clement Publications
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Welk Music Group
Published By – Chris Christian Music

White Heart – Don’t Wait For The Movie – 1986

Don’t Wait For The Movie was White Heart’s fourth studio album and the first with with vocalist Rick Florian and drummer Chris McHugh. This was also the first album after lead singer Scott Douglas was arrested, convicted, and jailed for sexual offences. This would have retired most bands but White Heart soldiered on with a new lead vocalist. That vocalist, Rick Florian, was apparently a roadie with the band before being called up to the big leagues. This album had a more commercial light rock sound and some of their fans were disappointed with this new sound. The album dominated the adult CCM tracks with “How Many Times” and “Fly Eagle Fly” both making it to #1 and “Maybe Today” making it to #3. The album lingered on the charts from Sep 86 to June of 87. Pretty impressive.

1 – Read The Book (Don’t Wait For The Movie) – 4:51
2 – Holy Ground – 4:42
3 – Beat Of A Different Drum – 4:17
4 – Fly Eagle Fly – 4:41
5 – Convertibles – 3:43
6 – Let The Children Play (Instrumental) – 1:32
7 – King George – 4:20
8 – No Apology – 4:22
9 – Maybe Today – 4:25
10 – Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Christian – 4:40
11 – How Many Times (Seventy Times Seven) – 4:27

Art Direction – Buddy Jackson
Artwork By [Hand Tinting] – Mike Drake
Bass, Drum Programming [Linn Programming] – Gary Lunn
Design [Lyric Sheet] – Jim Shanman
Drums, Percussion – Chris McHugh
Edited By – Billy Smiley, Ken Love
Engineer – Brent King
Engineer [Second] – David Pierce
Guitar, Lead Guitar, Sitar, Vocals – Gordon Kennedy
Keyboards, Vocals, Trombone – Mark Gersmehl
Lead Vocals – Ric Florian
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Billy Smiley, White Heart
Programmed By [Keyboard Programming] – Tommy Greer
Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Trumpet – Billy Smiley

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Overdubbed At – Center Stage Studio
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mastered At – Mastermix
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Hall-Clement Publications
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Welk Music Group
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Kid And The Squid Music
Published By – White Heart Publishing

Billy Smiley – New Night – 1986

If you’re the kind of person who can judge a record by the album cover, then you’re on the money with this one.

Billy Smiley was part of White Heart and contributed to other cool projects, but this one is quite different. More of a 1980s jazz easy listening effort.

It’s all instrumental, lots of keyboards, and none of the sort of guitar riffs we expect from the wrote and sang on so many White Heart songs, and more recently, The Union of Sinners & Saints. Billy also produced a number of important CCM albums for other artists. This album seems to have been a vacation in a different place.

Interesting note on the cover art. I’m not sure, but maybe it went like this…
“What are we doing for the album cover?”
“Don’t worry I’ve got something, we’ll just change it around a bit.”
Take a look here at Justo Almario’s jazz album, also released in 1985 on the same label, Meadowlark Records. Even the back cover is a dead match. The front has a little more variation but not much.

1 – All The Crying Eyes – 5:02
2 – Time Will Tell – 4:36
3 – Acappella In F Minor – 0:41
4 – Nouveau Nº. 1 – 5:10
5 – Spring In The Heart – 3:45
6 – The Awakening – 4:14
7 – Living With A Dream – 4:55
8 – Encounter – 4:06
9 – Image – 3:16
10 – Reflection – 3:05

Engineer [Second] – David Pierce
Engineer, Mixed By – Brent King, Jeff Balding, Mike Psanos
Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Synthesizer, Bass [Synth Bass] – Billy Smiley
Keyboards [Fairlight, Additional Keyboards] – Tommy Dorsey
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Programmed By [Linn Drum Programming] – Gary Lunn
Programmed By [Synthesizer Programming] – Tommy Greer
Written-By, Producer – Billy Smiley

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word (UK) Ltd.
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – Word Music (UK)
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Master’s Touch
Recorded At – Studio 19, Nashville
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Mixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Mixed At – Master’s Touch
Mixed At – Center Stage Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

White Heart – Emergency Broadcast – 1987

This 1987 release was kind of forgotten. The timing of the album lead many to treat it like a “filler” album. Personally I don’t get that feeling from this album and In fact the album did well on the charts with three singles. Montana Sky peaked at #3 with 16 weeks on the charts. Edge Of The Dream peaked at #13 with 10 weeks on the charts. Finally Somewhere In Between sat on the charts for 8 weeks peaking at #24. Overall a good effort from White Heart.

1 – Urban Renewal – 4:02
2 – Key To Our Survival – 4:19
3 – No Taboo – 4:45
4 – Montana Sky – 4:55
5 – Fashion Fades – 4:19
6 – More Sold Out – 4:41
7 – Somewhere In Between – 4:04
8 – Speed Of Sound – 3:03
9 – Lone Ranger – 4:07
10 – Edge Of The Dream – 4:34

Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – Tommy Sims
Drums, Percussion – Chris McHugh
Guitar, Vocals – Gordon Kennedy
Lead Vocals – Rick Florian
Vocals, Keyboards – Mark Gersmehl
Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Billy Smiley

Various – Rock of the Ages – Rock & Roll From The Third Dimension – 1983

This sampler is relatively unremarkable in that all the songs on it were very well known. The only thing that stood out about the release was that the album cover was 3D and the album came with 3D glasses so you could enjoy it.

1 – Leslie Phillips – Put Your Heart In Me (Beyond Saturday Night) – 4:00
2 – Randy Stonehill – The Glory And The Flame (Between The Glory And The Flame ) – 3:10
3 – Imperials – How Can You Live (Stand By The Power) – 3:46
4 – Maria Muldaur – Keep My Eyes On You (There Is A Love) – 4:01
5 – Kenny Marks – He’ll Finish What He Started (Follow Him) – 3:11
6 – Amy Grant – Too Late (Never Alone) – 3:15
7 – White Heart – You’re The One (White Heart) – 3:56
8 – David Edwards – Anything But Love (Get The Picture) – 3:34
9 – Dion – I Put Away My Idols ( I Put Away My Idols) – 3:08

Various – The Rock of Gospel – 1987

This is a fascinating sampler album (CD). It came out on Arrival Records, which is a Sublabel of K-Tel International. I had no idea until I found this album that K-Tel had distributed Christian albums. Even more of a surprise for me is that there were several of these albums. The quality of the CD is horrible, but I’ve cleaned up the recordings as best I could. K-Tel’s vinyl releases were well known for their horrible quality which was a result of cheap vinyl and cheap pressing. This album was released on CD so there was no need for the poor quality. I’ve always suspected that the licensing agreements for these songs included a stipulation that the quality be horrible in hopes people would buy the original album.

Include below is the info on which album the songs were released on

1 – Michael W. Smith – You’re Alright – 4:39 – The Big Picture
2 – Petra – Back To The Street – 4:17 – Back To The Street
3 – Leslie Phillips – Love Is Not Lost – 4:03 – Black And White In A Grey World
4 – White Heart – The Beat Of A Different Drum – 4:17 – Don’t Wait For The Movie
5 – David Meece – All Is God’s Creation – 3:48 – Candle In The Rain
6 – Kim Boyce – Love Resurrection – 4:11 – Kim Boyce
7 – Randy Stonehill – Defender – 3:02 – The Wild Frontier
8 – Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart – Crack The Sky – 3:59 – Crack The Sky
9 – Rick Cua – This Raging Fire – 3:53 – Wear Your Colors
10 – Steve Camp – Cheap Grace – 5:11 – One On One
11 – David & The Giants – Cold Lonely Nights – 3:37 – Magnificat
12 – Margaret Becker – Fight For God – 4:06 – Never For Nothing

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.
Distributed By – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.

White Heart – Vital Signs – 1984

White Heart’s second album, Vital Signs was a masterpiece of finely produced songs. The band self-produced, with executive help from Chris Christian. The album was released on Chris Christian’s Home Sweet Home Records.

The opening song, “Sing Unto The Lamb” is a big sounding song that would qualify for a modern major Broadway number. The vocals stay true to this big performance sound all the way through the album, which is one of the things that made White Heart so popular. Standout tracks include the high energy “Carried Away” and power ballad “Let Your First Thought Be Love.”

The album was recorded in Nashville and attracted a who’s who of contributing artists. The closing song, “We Are His Hands” includes a choir with (among others) Bob Farrell (of Farrell and Farrell), Scott Wesley Brown, David Meece, Amy Grant, Steve Green, Russ Taff, Chris Christian and Kathy Troccoli. We Are His Hands was their first number one radio single.

Former lead singer, Scott Douglas went to prison in 1986. White Heart continued on with a new lead singer after this album, Rick Florian who was allegedly promoted from roadie to lead singer all at once. Florian remained in the lead post throughout the rest of White Heart’s existence.

Track Listing:
1 – Sing Unto The Lamb – 3:15
2 – Draw The Line – 4:38
3 – Walking In The Light – 3:56
4 – Carried Away (Safe On The Wings Of The Lord) – 4:19
5 – Quiet Love – 3:52
6 – Following The King – 4:05
7 – Let Your First Thought Be Love – 3:51
8 – Undercover – 3:54
9 – Vital Signs – 3:50
10 – We Are His Hands – 4:13

Arranged By – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff, Mark Gersmehl
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Ronn Huff
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt
Bass Guitar – Gary Lunn
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Bill Brunt, Mark Tucker
Design Concept [Vital Signs Concept] – Kent Hunter
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bill Deaton, Brent King, Mike Psanos
Engineer [Assistant] – Doug Sarrett
Executive-Producer – Chris Christian
Graphics [Vital Signs Logo] – Ken Wolgemuth, Ken Wolgemuth
Graphics [White Heart Logo] – Ellen Hodnett, Ellen Hodnett
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Smiley
Producer – White Heart
Recorded By – Jeff Balding
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Dann Huff
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, Craig Nelson, Dennis Molchan, Gary Vanosdale, David Boyle*, Pam Vanosdale*, Phyllis Hiltz*, Roy Christensen, The Nashville String Machine, Walt Schwede*
Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Vocals – Scott Douglas

White Heart – (self titled) – 1982

This was White Heart’s introductory album. Formed in 1982 by two members of Bill Gaither’s group they decidedly recorded and performed a more upbeat style of music.

This album could not really be described as anything even vaguely close to Rock and Roll but it does have a pop feel but is still pretty easy listening. It did, however lay the groundwork for what would become a very well liked CCM band.

Track Listing:
1 – Hold On – 3:37
2 – You’re The One – 3:56
3 – Listen To The Lonely – 3:47
4 – He’s Returning – 4:23
5 – Carry On – 3:56
6 – Guiding Light – 3:40
7 – Everyday – 4:08
8 – Nothing Can Take This Love – 3:40
9 – Black Is White – 3:14
10 – Go Down Nineveh – 4:30

Bass – Gary Lunn
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Executive Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dann Huff
Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Billy Smiley
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Steve Green (3)
Mixed By – Chris Christian, Jeff Balding
Producer – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff
Recorded By – Jeff Balding