Musicals & Soundtracks

Jesus musicals sprang up left and right during the 1970's. Most musicals were usually concept albums and had a common theme and purpose, often evangelistic or sometimes simply a celebration of God's love. Many dealt with issues facing the youth of the day (and today) such as peer pressure, drugs, sex and "doing your own thing." See also Ralph Carmichael and Jimmy Owens

Soundtracks of a few movies or films also made it to record and would often contain a hodgepodge of musical styles. DH

Alleluia (A Praise Gathering for Believers) Impact 1973
A musical of Bill Gaither songs, performed by the Bill Gaither Trio, ReGeneration, and other guests, arranged by Ronn Huff. Alleluia toured across the US and was also performed by hundreds of church choirs.

Because I Am Clear Light 1973
Double lp-various artists-rock musical with input from Turley Richards , Greg Volz, Mike Johnson and numerous others. Doubtful that the entire album will appeal to most since the styles represented are a bit too diverse. Best of the lot here is "e", Greg Volz's early Jesus music band. Two of their three songs approach eight minutes in length, including the hard rock 'Journey To Calvary' that inspired one house guest to ask me "is that Led Zeppelin?". Volz's trademark screams are easily recognizable here. Mike Johnson's 'Empty Hollow Choruses' is also good, a length orchestrated acoustic piece typical of his output during that era. Less consistent are two songs apiece by Everyday People and Newine - both heavy on the brass, strings, and organ, sounding like mixes of contemporary gospel, drum and bugle corps, and watered-down Chicago. Also a couple instrumentals and a nice acoustic ballad by Turley Richards. Fairly lean pickins for a double-length lp, but the worthwhile cuts are quite good and it beats the Truth Of Truths rock musical hands down. KS

The Bible (a rock testament) 197?

Brothers 1972
 Sample clip
With Marj Snyder, Rick Riso and Tony Sbrana

Celebrate Life! Broadman Records 1972
 He Is Alive!
 I Quietly Turned To You(featuring a young Cynthia Clawson)
The Truth Shall Make You Free

Studio shot from back cover (the young woman at center
with her hands on her hips is Cynthia Clawson)

"This album has a special place in my heart because I accepted the Lord as a result of a local church youth choir's presentation of this musical during my senior year of high school. Celebrate Life! is a musical and narrative account of the Resurrection story, as seen through the eyes of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The musical score was written by Buryl Red, with lyrics by Ragan Courtney. It was released on Broadman Records of Nashville, TN, which I believe is/was a label affiliated with the Southern Baptist denomination. Although some of the arrangements seem a bit dated after 25 years, there are some real gems (The Truth Shall Make You Free, I Quietly Turned to You, He Is Alive, and Prayer For Peace, among others), and the overall message has never lost its power. I keep hoping that with all the attention being given to 70's retro music, some church, somewhere, will decide to produce it again." ARM

Cry 3 Clear Light Productions - 1975
Rock musical featuring a young Grex Volz (pre-Petra) with the "e" band as well as Mike Johnson. Volz and his band recorded songs for the earlier "Because I Am" listed above. Includes some great spacey sythesizer work on the 8-minute trilogy depicting the Incarnation/Crucifixion/Resurrection.

Firewind Sparrow 1976
A musical written by Terry Talbot with John Michael Talbot and Jamie Owens the material recounts the experiences of the early church as outlined in the Biblical account in the Book of Acts. Other artists included in the project were Keith Green, Barry McGuire, David Diggs, Al Perkins, and the 2nd Chapter of Acts.

Follow Me Tempo 1978
Two record set, subtitled "A Musical Call to Discipleship". All songs written and performed by Dan Whittmore, Ray Hildebrand, Pete Carlson, and Buddy Kalb.

For Pete's Sake Sacred 1967
Soundtrack featuring Ralph Carmichael and The Young People. Includes the early classic "He's Everything to Me."

Greater is He Impact 1977
Part of the Praise Gathering series, This musical was written by Lanny Wolfe (of the Lanny Wolfe Trio), performances by the Lanny Wolfe trio, Doug Oldham, Downings, Dallas Holm, and others.

His Land Light 1970
Soundtrack album from the film of the same name, with singing by Cliff Richard, narration by Cliff Barrows & orchestration from Ralph Carmichael & The Ralph Carmichael Chorus.

His Love Reaching Paragon 1975
Again, Gaither songs, performed by the trio, and guests Dave Boyer and Sharalee Lucas, arranged by Ronn Huff. This one with a Christmas theme.

Lonesome Stone Reflection 1973
A musical that had songs written by The Sheep and also incorpated Larry Norman's The Great American Novel and I Don't Believe In Miracles, Randy Stonehill's Vegetables, and secular songs like Jesus Is Just Alright, This Land Is Your Land, San Francisco, and For What It's Worth.

The Music of Body Life Custom 197?
 By My Side
 Ps. 91
 Staid On Jesus
Live album from Peninsula Bible Church in the 70's featuring John Fischer, Pam Mark, Mark Spoelstra, Dan Collins and Marj Snyder.

Resurrection Day - Norman Ezell Custom 197?

Time To Run (Soundtrack) World Wide Records 1973
 I Love You / Gone Away (Randy Stonehill)
 Catch Me
 Isn't It Good to Know
 Traveling Man

The Son Worshipers Soundtrack One Way 1972
This is the soundtrack for a movie piecemealed together by Bob Cording and Weldon Hardenbrook and distributed through Larry Norman's One Way label. It is a half hour documentary of the Jesus People Movement featuring interview footage, some great moments on campus at University of California at Berkeley, some Calvary Chapel scenes shot of the early days at Calvary Chapel. The movie includes footage of Jack Sparks (of the Christian World Liberation Front), Duane Pederson (of the Hollywood Free Paper), the preaching of Os Guinness, some interview footage of Jesus freak evangelist Lonnie Frisbee interspersed with some music. The soundtrack is taken verbatim from the movie and is not worth the money that people are asking, but it is somewhat collectible.

Truth of Truths Oak 1971
Propechies Of The Coming Of The End Of The World
A 26 song double-lp rock opera musical from creation to the second coming. Jim Backus (the voice of the animated Mr. Magoo character and Mr. Howell on television's Gilligan's Island sitcom) was cast as the voice of God. Released in a gatefold cover with elaborate inside cover artwork and booklet. DS

Two A Penny UNI 1968
Soundtrack of movie starring 60's UK pop star Cliff Richard