Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#72 LIVE IN LONDON by Andrae Crouch & the Disciples (1978)

LIVE IN LONDON by Andrae Crouch & the Disciples (1978)
 Light Records - LSX -5717
"I'm sure that many of you have heard Andrae Crouch & the Disciples on record; I'm sure that many of you have heard their songs sung by other people. But tonight they're here in person. Please give a big welcome to Andrae Crouch & the Disciples!"  

The familiar disco-influenced beat of Perfect Peace immediately begins, featuring a live horn section and Andrae's sparkling, unmistakable acoustic grand piano playing. Live in London is underway. 

The Disciples were a group that Andrae Crouch had assembled in the late 60s. After being "discovered" by Ralph Carmichael, they were signed to Light Records and quickly recorded a string of albums that garnered critical acclaim and won the hearts of millions. Crouch wrote songs that connected with audiences from all walks of life, all ages, and across racial, denominational and socio-economic lines. His music served as a bridge between the Black Gospel world and what would eventually come to be referred to as "CCM" in much the same way that the Imperials bridged the gap between Southern Gospel and Jesus Rock. Crouch and his joyful band of singers and musicians were equally at home among Jesus people at Explo '72 and the Burbank studio of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. They were just as comfortable performing at an A.M.E. church convention as they were on a nationally-televised Billy Graham crusade. While Gospel legends like James Cleveland and the Mighty Clouds of Joy rarely saw a Caucasian face in their audiences, Andrae would routinely sing to crowds that were 50 to 75% white. Remember, churches were by and large still racially segregated all over America in the 70s. Andrae was that rare artist who was embraced by the Black Church, the White Church and the Jesus Movement. Crouch even dismantled generational walls; the parents of his Jesus Movement fans would later find Crouch's songs in their church's hymnals. 

Andrae Crouch & the Disciples owned the seventies. They recorded six albums during that decade, plus a double greatest hits release. They toured internationally, playing  prestigious venues, and became the first Christian group to play NBC's Saturday Night Live. Multiple Dove and Grammy awards were added to the Crouch trophy case during the 70s. All the while, Andrae insisted he was not an entertainer. “If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s ’a minister spreading God’s word through song,’" wrote Ebony magazine. "The simple truth of the matter is that Crouch has concocted a winning formula of highly energized rhythm and blues production values and techniques of song construction with explosively charged religious messages, and has emerged as one of the hottest, most commercially successful practitioners of gospel music in the country, if not the entire world.” That was high praise. And absolutely true. 

Live in London was the second live album for AC&D. The first one, Live at Carnegie Hall was released in 1973 and will undoubtedly show up on this list a little later on. Live in London was much more polished and was released as a 2-record set. 








Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in London and Free Trade Hall in Manchester, Live in London’s memorable gatefold cover was designed by Don Zubalsky. The front cover featured an iconic Robert August illustration of a “flying piano.” Photographs by Danny Dunn and Paul Slaughter were part of the inside and back cover design. 


Bill Maxwell
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Andrae’s longtime producer and drummer Bill Maxwell. I asked him how Live in London came about in the first place. “Andrae was getting booked in all these great concert halls, you know, Carnegie Hall, then Sydney Opera House,” Maxwell remembers. “In London we were going to play Royal Albert Hall but that fell through. But they wanted a live recording and we tried recording in Sydney but it didn’t turn out really good (it was on a 4-track machine). So we said, let’s try to do a live album in London."  

According to Maxwell, the experience of recording Live in London was a real whirlwind. “We were booked on a tour to go to England,” he says. “We flew from L.A. to London and then took a bus to Wales and played a concert that night with Pat Boone and the Boone Family. The next night we went into London, I met with the remote truck and we had a day to set up the truck for the mics at the Hammersmith Odeon. I was at the same time playing drums and producing the album. It was crazy. We just had time for a quick sound check, went on stage in London and the audience was fantastic. We were a little ragged, but it was the first time they’d seen Andrae. The crowd was incredible. We had a day off, so I listened to the tapes and then we went to Manchester, England. We took the truck to Manchester and recorded the second night. So we had tapes to pick through. We used a lot of Manchester tapes on the album. We came home and fixed a few bad notes and all that stuff.” 


Bill Maxwell on drums
For many artists, live albums seemed like stale greatest hits compilations, released as a way to fulfill an obligation to the record company. Not so with Andrae. “What we wanted it to feel like – and it was a very complicated procedure – we wanted it to feel like you were sitting in the audience, and one song just led into another,” says Maxwell. “It wasn’t like one song ended and faded out and another song fades up; we wanted it to flow from the song through the applause and whatever Andrae said, into the next song…we wanted it to feel like you were going through a whole concert. In order to do that, we were taking tapes from different nights. It was very complicated.” 

Maxwell went on to explain the post-production process: “You would have to mix the song – and in those days we didn’t have digital recorders – we would mix the song and finally get it right on a 2-track, and then you would have the applause on a 2-track, you would have what Andrae said on a 2-track, then you would have the next song on a 2-track, and you’d have another 2-track to record it. You’d have to hit all those machines at once, and then cut those things together! So it was a complicated process, but I learned from some good engineers. And I think we pulled it off, if you listen to it,” said Maxwell. 
Crouch was at his best in front of a live audience. The concerts always seemed more like church services, as Andrae not only performed, but exhorted the audience and became a powerfully effective worship leader (before we had even heard of that term). At the end of the day, there was an anointing of the Holy Spirit that was so evident in Crouch's music, and especially on those live concert recordings. What do I mean by "anointing?" I have no idea how to explain it or quantify it. But I know it when I feel it.   

“Really, with Andrae, my favorite thing was the way he led worship, when the Holy Spirit would show up,” remembers Bill Maxwell. “You never knew when that was going to be, but you know, in the early 70s there was no one else really singing praise songs and having the audience sing along like that. It was really special when the Holy Spirit would show up. That’s what separated Andrae from just being a band. There was an anointing on it. God would just show up. It happened for a long time. And when it was happening, we knew it. Because it was like, you’re on stage and you could feel that something was happening. That’s what made Andrae special. It was a gift that was on him.”  
We are treated to four classic hymns on Live in London: Revive Us Again, Power in the Blood, Amazing Grace and I Surrender All. This has to be the most beautiful and inspiring arrangement of I Surrender All ever recorded. I can remember picking out those amazing chords by ear as a young keyboardist and I've basically played Andrae's arrangement of this song in church for most of my life. 

"Jesus is alive and He's here tonight. The reason we know that is because we brought Him along with us, and after we got here we found Him to already be here! Tonight, we're not gonna have a concert -- I've said it before -- we're gonna have church! In England!" -Andrae 

Humor is utilized on You Don't Have To Jump No Pews. It's a playful reminder that our relationship with the Lord is "not based on emotion or feelings, but faith in God's Word, and receiving." 

On the classic Take A Little Time, Crouch not only recounts the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, but he also shares his personal testimony by half-talking/half-singing the verses as only he can.  He talks about the Lord healing his body, helping him find work, saving him, and even filling him with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while the crowd roars its approval. 

What the Lord means to you maybe I can't see
Oh, but this one thing I know,
The Man is everything to me (yes, He is)
Because I remember the time
When a job for me was so hard to find
Still, the Lord made a way for me
Just in the nick of time (yes, He did)
And some of you heard about when I was sick
And my doctor said I would not get well
But you know the Lord touched and healed my body
And right now I'm able to tell
That's why I say that 

I just want
I just want to take a little time right now
and thank the Lord
for all He's done for me 

You know some people have houses way up on a hill
But many of them up there don't even know
That God is really, really real
But right down here I know He's real
‘Cause He lives within my soul
And when I was only nine years old
He saved me and made me whole
And then a few months later
He gave me something,
Something that I needed most
You know He filled my soul
With the power of the Holy Ghost!
 

The crystal clear voice of the late Danniebelle Hall is featured on another Crouch classic, Tell Them. This one is focused on evangelism. 

The funky If I Were a Tree reminds us that we were created in God's image "to give Him the highest praise."
The group then transitions to a worship set that includes the chorus Hallelujah (better known as Alleluia) and two of the aforementioned hymns. Things remain relatively calm during Revive Us Again, but Power in the Blood hearkens back to a style that Andrae must've heard a great deal growing up in the Church of God in Christ. There were probably some folks "shoutin' in the aisles” before that one was over. 

Crouch always had a knack for surrounding himself with anointed, talented singers and players. For Live in London The Disciples consisted of Bea Carr, James Felix, and longtime members Danniebelle Hall, Perry Morgan, and, of course, Andrae's twin sister Sandra Crouch. The band consisted of Felix on bass, Harlan Rogers and the late Mike Escalante on keyboards, Hadley Hockensmith and Jimmie Davis on guitars, and longtime drummer Bill Maxwell. Of course, Crouch himself played acoustic piano. Glenn Myerscough and Allen Gregory played horns. The live format really allowed these players and singers to shine.  

The second record in this 2-album set begins with a song that Bill Maxwell says was added to the setlist at the last minute. Situated somewhere between funk and traditional black gospel, I Just Want to Know You indicates a longing to know the Lord on a deeper, more personal level.  

The second-coming inspired classic Just Like He Said He Would was up next. Before the song, Andrae led the audience in a little call-and-response with the song's lyrics, then had a little fun contrasting his song with the old hymn that talks about being satisfied with just "a cabin in the corner of Gloryland."  

"I don't even like cabins!" declared Crouch, to the delight of the British audience. 

"There's a revival goin on right now all around the world, for those of you that don't know it. And God is moving by His spirit. And all you've got to do is just open your heart and say, 'Lord, here I am. I open the door of my heart.' He's knocking right now to some of you who have been running from Him. All you've gotta do is say, 'Yes. Yes, Lord. I'm willing to go all the way with You. I'm tired of fighting.' I remember when I was nine years old, I told Him, 'Yes.' And I haven't regretted one moment of following Jesus." -Andrae 

Next, Andrae delivers a powerful, heartfelt testimony song called I'll Keep On Loving You, Lord. It's a ballad that Crouch sings alone, and it's a gem. 

The last song on Side Three is a funky testimony song titled You Gave to Me. It was a favorite from the group's This is Another Day album. 

The album's final side opens with Andrae again leading worship, first in a call-and-response format (O Taste and See), and then by leading the audience in Amazing Grace (listed on the album as Praise God, Praise God). 

Next, the title track of This is Another Day gets the live treatment. If you're ever down and need encouragement (or just a good, swift kick in the pants), you really can't go wrong listening to this song. 

The group then transitions back into a reprise of Praise God (sung to the tune of Amazing Grace). Andrae exhorts the crowd, "Don't just sing it from your lips, but sing it from your heart." 

Next up is one of the album's highlights, an uptempo song called Well Done. This one looks forward with anticipation to the day that we will stand before the Lord face to face: 

"Well done, well done
Good and faithful servant, well done"
When I see His precious face
All I want to hear Him say is, "Well Done" 

Live in London concludes with an abbreviated version of one of Andrae's greatest songs, My Tribute.

Andrae Crouch today

Andrae Crouch would go solo in the 1980s. He recorded albums of his own, collaborated with artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna, and also worked successfully in film and television.  But it is safe to say that the energy, passion and pure joy exhibited during his time with the Disciples was never again equaled. 

We didn't know it at the time, but this would turn out to be a Dove and Grammy award-winning double live album that put an exclamation point on the career of this groundbreaking, trendsetting, culture-bridging group. Sure, there were compilations that followed many years later, and a successful solo career for Crouch, but Live in London was the last major release from AC&D. They went out with a bang. 


Alex Acuna
“I know Alex Acuna tells me that’s the reason he got saved, because of that album,” Bill Maxwell remembers. “He was on the road with Diana Ross; he didn’t speak very good English. He said he could just hear the drum beat and ‘Jesus.’ And there was something about it that got his heart. So, if it just accomplished that, if it spoke to Alex and led him to the Lord, that made it all worthwhile.”
  
Editor's Note: Andrae Crouch went Home to be with the Lord on January 8, 2015.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#73 THE EVERLASTIN' LIVING JESUS MUSIC CONCERT by Various Artists (1971)


THE EVERLASTIN' LIVING JESUS MUSIC CONCERT
by Various Artists (1971)
Maranatha! (HS-777/1)
The story is told of a talented young singer/piano player and aspiring songwriter, growing up in the hills of West Virginia. He enjoyed great success in two different fields -- music and sports. He led a 75-voice youth choir every Sunday night at his church, and was so good at little league baseball that his coach predicted a future in the Major Leagues. At age 16, two events helped him choose the correct course for the rest of his life: his failure to make the local baseball all-star team, and his purchase of an album called The Everlastin' Living Jesus Music Concert. He reportedly was so inspired by that album that he subsequently chose to pursue music as a lifelong calling and career. The young man's name was Michael Whitaker Smith.
 
I received a copy of Mark Allen Powell's Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music as a Christmas gift a number of years ago. It made for enjoyable reading, although some of the author's liberal theology and social views just about drove me nuts. But I overlooked all of that because I actually found my name in the book a couple of times (My Friend Stephanie, Sunday Blue), and I'm just human enough to have been stoked about that! But seriously, the book was a great companion for any host of a Christian rock radio show (like I was back in the day), as it was full of facts, figures, dates, and trivia...if you could just overlook the author's personal opinions. One thing is for sure: he LOVED our feature album, The Everlastin' Living Jesus Music Concert. He wrote that it is: 

"...easily the most important Christian album ever made..."  

"...the most historically significant Christian album of all time."
 
"...the record with which the history of contemporary Christian music properly begins."
 
• "...the most influential album of contemporary Christian music ever recorded."  

"...easily the most important of all the early Christian music records and served to introduce the world to what would become a genre, a market, and ultimately an industry."  

"...the most important album of Christian music (and one of the best) ever released."

I wouldn't go quite that far. OK, I wouldn't go anywhere near that far. Many of the recordings were somewhat lacking in sonic excellence, some of the performances just weren’t that good, and some of the songwriting revealed a certain naiveté. But even if the songs "stunk to high heaven," which is not the case, The Everlastin' Living Jesus Music Concert belongs on this list due to its historical significance alone.  

The year was 1971. This was the very first record that Maranatha! Music ever released. It was later affectionately referred to by many as Maranatha One. The album's title notwithstanding, it wasn't a live concert album at all, but rather a compilation from early Calvary Chapel artists who were being discipled at Pastor Chuck Smith's church in Costa Mesa, California. It was not the first record of its kind, but it did introduce this new musical genre--Jesus Music--to the wider world.  

God was up to something good in Southern California in those days. Young people had been disillusioned with the empty promises of drugs, sexual promiscuity, and eastern religions. They were hungry for an authentic relationship with Jesus, and they were surrendering their hearts and lives to the Lord by the thousands during what came to be known as the Jesus Movement. This album served as a musical Statement of Faith for these young people who were simply in love with Jesus. 

Love Song, Debbie Kerner, and Children Of The Day all contribute songs that would later appear on albums of their own. There are also several songs available only on this record, including those by Gentle Faith, The Way, and Love Song (Maranatha). There are also songs on this compilation from groups who would never go on to record full-length albums -- Blessed Hope, Country Faith, and Selah. 

The album cover design was by Barry Malone and Kernie Erickson (who would later become somewhat famous as "that guy who did the amazing artwork for all the Sweet Comfort Band album covers"). All Maranatha! album covers and graphics were custom-designed, in-house (usually by Malone and Erickson) and printed by staff artists on a shoestring budget.
 
The main thing you'll notice on the front cover is the iconic downward-flying red Maranatha! Dove, which served as branding for all of the Maranatha!/Calvary Chapel albums and was later adopted by Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians the world over as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16).  The words of Psalm 150 are also featured on the front cover, alerting the astute observer that this would be a fresh, new way to "praise the Lord."  The font used for the album title is dated, but in a good way.
 
The inside of the gatefold cover featured more Scripture verses and all of the song lyrics. The back cover features an artistic treatment of several photographs taken by Gary Connif. Instead of staged shots of the artists, the pictures seem to be candid shots from concerts or worship services. Young people are seen displaying the "one way" sign in a couple of photos.
 
Scripture is again included on the album's back cover, this time the words of Jesus from the book of John, leaving no doubt as to the purpose of the record: 

YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. JESUS SAYS I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY ME. 

The album kicks off with Love Song’s Little Country Church. It really is difficult to overestimate the importance of this song to the early Jesus People. Chuck Girard has said that Little Country Church “was really the story of Calvary Chapel. Calvary wasn't strictly a ‘country’ church, but was kind of out in a field, but I realized that this song represented the whole Jesus Movement . It was about the open minded attitudes of the pastors like Chuck Smith, who had the courage to embrace the hippies and allow a new thing to happen in the church; to allow new musical styles and not judge the hippies for their look, but realize that God changed the heart.” Set to a laid-back rock and roll beat, the song served notice that "church" was no longer the way it used to be: 

They're talkin' 'bout revival and the need for love
Love Song with Pastor Chuck Smith (R)
That little church has come alive
Workin with each other for the common good
Puttin' all the past aside 

Long hair, short hair, some coats and ties
Lookin' past the hair and straight into the eyes 

And it's very plain to see
It's not the way it used to be 

Casual listeners might think this track was taken from Love Song's debut album, but those who listen closely will hear the difference. This was a little rougher than the band's "official" version of Little Country Church, released a year later. But it was a great way to set the tone for this album. Fred Field co-wrote this song with Chuck Girard; Fred was not an official member of Love Song on any of their studio albums, but he contributes a nice, gritty lead guitar solo on this track.  

In Jesus' Name by Selah opens with a recorder solo (!) and basically shares the story of Jesus' life and ministry in a 3 and a half minute Jewish folk tune. Consisting of two high school students, Joy Strange and Cindy Young, Selah is said to have traveled in--what else?--a Volkswagen bus. The girls' vocals feature a rapid-fire vibrato that would quickly wear out its welcome on most songs...but here, it just works. They dive into what's been called a "Yiddish chorus" with an intensity that is so weird it's cool. And then the song just fades away. Later, Erick Nelson and Alex MacDougall would join Selah. Joy Strange later married Bob Cull (writer of the beloved worship song Open Our Eyes) and ended up in the band Parable for a while.  

Blessed Hope contributed Something More, a song with lyrics that echo familiar themes of the Jesus People: 

We've got something more than just salvation
We got Jesus 

We've got something more than just religion
We've got something more, it's relation in the Son
In the Son 

Musically, this one has a little bit of that early 70s, Brady Bunch-Partridge Family-Archies vibe. Blessed Hope would appear on the first four Maranatha! compilation albums, but never recorded a full-length release of their own.

The album's longest track was Two Roads by Country Faith, a group considered to be one of the very first country rock bands in Jesus Music. Coming in at 5:40 (the entire album was just 37 and a half minutes long), Two Roads was something of an epic that sounded like it could've easily been a Love Song tune. The song opens with lyrics that instantly transport you back to Calvary Chapel in 1971: 

Feel the warmth around you
Hear the music in the air
Feel the peace surround you
Smiling faces everywhere
Listen closely to the words we share
Our Lord Jesus wants to take you there 

Written by Tom Stipe and Chuck Butler, the song focuses on the idea that there are two roads that we can choose to travel, but only "one way" to Heaven. It's based on Jesus' words in Matthew 7:13-14.  Stipe went on to leave musical fingerprints on a ton of Maranatha!/Calvary Chapel recordings and was a member of Wing and a Prayer and the Richie Furay Band; Butler later became a member of Parable. 

All of the artists come together to form a choir of sorts to close out Side One. Titled Holy, Holy, Holy, this is not the classic hymn of the same name. But it does come off as something of a modern hymn. The song was written by Tommy Coomes of Love Song. 

Gentle Faith opens Side Two with a Christian folk tune called The Shepherd. For me, the vocals on this one leave a bit to be desired. This was an early edition of Gentle Faith that did not yet include Darrell Mansfield. The Shepherd was sort of a hippie-fied version of the 23rd Psalm: 

He skips through the valley, over mountains to carry
A lamb to the greenlands, in His arms 

He guides them to seaside, and brings them to the tide
The Shepherd is calling, hear His voice 

He leads in a love song, and says come sing along
The banks of the river by which we grow 

And His blessings, they are dripping, so we'll catch them, are you listening
La la la la...ah 

Jesus be with us in the night 

Gentle Faith, later fronted by Mansfield, would not record an album of their own until 1976.


Debbie Kerner & Ernie Rettino in the early 70s
Next up was somewhat of a classic: Debbie Kerner's Behold, I Stand at the Door. It's a folk meditation on Revelation 3:20 that Kerner later included on her debut album, Come Walk With Me. Sounding very dated today, Kerner's style was right in line with Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary. Kerner was later ordained as a Minister of Music with Calvary Chapel. She married Ernie Rettino and they ministered together as a couple for many years. 

If You Will Believe by The Way sounded like something a youth choir would've done on the last night of summer camp in the early 70s. The vocals were subpar, but the acoustic guitar solo during the instrumental jam was nice. This song presented the Christian faith as something that could be felt...tasted...experienced! Many of these artists had rejected the cold, staid, emotionless religion of their parents' mainline denominations. They wanted to feel Jesus: 

Then came a feeling that set me straight in line
I felt the Holy Spirit that gave me a new life 

If you will believe
Then you will receive and feel
The gift of love and love from above is real 

Love Song returns for a song called Maranatha. The positives would include Chuck Girard’s solos on the verses and Fred Field’s fiddle. On the downside, the drums sound like they had paper heads, and the overall production wasn’t quite up to the standards we would later come to expect from Love Song. Lyrically, this song focuses on the return of Christ: 
Love Song

The Master went away from us 2,000 years ago
He left us with His promise to return
How our hearts do long for Him
We miss the Master so
We must keep the faith and let the fire burn 

Maranatha, maranatha
The Lord is coming back
We must be filled with love to truly greet Him
 
Of course, Love Song would go on to be one of the most important, most influential Christian bands of all time, in spite of their short lifespan as a group. We will definitely be examining more of their recorded works later in the countdown.
 
The album concludes with what would become an iconic song: For Those Tears I Died by Children of the Day. Sisters Marsha and Wendy Carter were still high school students when they became Christians. They teamed up with Peter Jacobs and Russ Stevens to form Children of the Day, a name taken from I Thess. 5:5. The foursome attended Calvary Chapel and Azusa Pacific University together. Russ and Marsha later married. 
 
 
Children of the Day

As far as I can tell, this is the same version of For Those Tears I Died that also appeared on the group’s debut album, Come to the Waters. The song was actually written by a 16-year old Marsha Carter and obviously struck a chord with a lot of people. Musically, it’s a very plaintive performance that falls somewhere between traditional folk music and southern gospel, complete with four-part harmony on the choruses.  

Some say the song’s third verse beautifully captures the wonder and enthusiasm of a new convert: 

Children of the Day
Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul
I know that without God, I’d never be whole
Saviour, You opened all the right doors
And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores
Take me, I’m yours 

Others have criticized the song’s famous chorus from a theological standpoint, claiming that it relies too heavily on sentimentality and emotion. Sometimes you get into trouble when you put extra-biblical words in Jesus’ mouth: 

And Jesus said, “Come to the waters, stand by My side
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied
I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died” 

We need to remember that the writer was in her mid-teens and a baby Christian when she wrote the song. But theological purists will point out that Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin, not just to make us feel better when we’re sad or lonely.  

For Those Tears I Died became a HUGE youth group campfire song, ended up in hymnals, and has even been featured on Bill Gaither’s Homecoming videos.

Children of the Day made six albums and toured relentlessly. Then, after seven years and two children, the marriage between Russ and Marsha came to a shocking end. According to Mark Allan Powell (Marsha’s biggest fan), her husband told her, “You need to find someone else.” To which she replied, “You know, I think it might be a woman.” 

It might be a woman? What?! 

So Marsha was married to a man for seven years and had two children the old-fashioned way…then decided one day, what the heck, it’s time to switch teams and start having sex with women?! This flies in the face of what is preached by the LGBTQ movement (“born this way?”).  

A closer look at Marsha’s personal story is revealing. Powell writes, “Stevens had a troubled youth. She remembers childhood as a time of terror, a time she doesn’t want to talk about. ‘Let’s just say that when you grow up with an alcoholic in the house, you learn that night is a time to hide,’ she states. She hid, curled up in bed, crying the eponymous tears of her most famous song.” If that is true, then it’s a very, very sad story. 


Marsha (R) and her "partner"
In the years that have followed, Marsha (now known as Marsha Stevens-Pino) has been ignored and largely written out of the history of the Jesus Movement and Calvary Chapel. Her response has been to double down on the lesbianism. She and her “partner” began something called Born Again Lesbian Music and travel the country, performing in Metropolitan Community Churches 

Mark Allan Powell’s Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music makes claims for this song, for Children of the Day, and for Marsha Stevens that are, frankly, ridiculous. He calls For Those Tears I Died “an absolute masterpiece.” He says that Marsha Stevens-Pino is “the Mother of contemporary Christian music,” claiming that Amy Grant “sings in her shadow.” As well as many other statements that are just over-the-top, if not laughable. Like I said earlier, I enjoyed his book overall. I spent a lot of time reading it and I appreciate all of the time and effort that must’ve gone into creating it. But Powell really needs to dial back the hyperbole a bit where Stevens-Pino and Children of the Day are concerned. I guess he sympathizes with her social/sexual agenda and allows that to cloud his objectivity. Brian Quincy Newcomb has praised Powell's "thoughtful theological insights." That's all you really need to know right there. 

The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert was actually produced by Chuck Girard, although he was not listed as such in the album’s credits. “I was not given producers credit, because I was told that would be giving the glory to man, not God,” remembers Chuck. “This thinking would probably be considered old-fashioned today, but did reflect the humble values of the early days of the 70s and the Jesus movement.” The record reportedly cost about $2,000 to make. 

The best way I can think of to wrap up this look at The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert would be to share the liner notes from the inside of the record’s gatefold cover: 

JESUS:
Think about what JESUS
said before you let your
MIND reject Him…
Listen to your HEART
instead and you will
accept Him.
JESUS said “Behold I stand
at the door and knock; if
any man hear My voice and
open the door, I will come
into him, and he with Me.”
Rev. 3:20
“For GOD so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth
in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.”
John 3:16
Dig it, He’s calling you
OUT of a burn trip into
a LOVE relationship with JESUS.
“…there is ONE God, and
one mediator between GOD
and men, the man
CHRIST JESUS.”
I Timothy 2:5
Rap to GOD, He IS there, He IS listening.
GOD, I am a sinner.
I believe JESUS died for me
and that His blood is cleansing
me from all my sins.
By faith I now receive
JESUS CHRIST
into my heart as my
LORD and SAVIOR.
HALLELUJAH!
 
Fun Facts:
 
Debby Kerner was identified on the album's back cover simply as "Debby."
 
Chuck Butler of Country Faith is the father of Chad Butler of the band Switchfoot.