Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jesus Music

I bemoaned the CCM music scene in a previous post earlier this week, but it strikes me that the late 60's-the mid 70's or so was a very creative time for music, not just secular music but in a long gone genre called "Jesus Music." This genre produced some really excellent folk and rock music, not just for Jesus Music, but in any genre. And today I'd like to share with you a few choice cuts from long out of print LP records of that era.

First up is an oddity from The Gamble Folk. Information on them and the others listed here can be found at One Way, a Jesus Music site. One Way doesn't have much on them, but their first record was released in 1968. This song comes from "Christmas Boy", which was released in 1977. This is the title track, and while I find it a little cheesy, I also enjoy it for being an original tune and an interesting take.

The Gamble Folk-Christmas Boy

Next comes an absolutely beautiful song from 1977's album "Gentle Night" by the St. Louis Jesuits.

St. Louis Jesuits-The Beautiful Mother

Now I'd like to share a track from an album by Joe Wise- 1977's "He Has Come." A record of pretty much all cover versions, it does include a rare treasure in "The Cherry Tree Carol." Now this fits in exactly with my desire to see artists take on more obscure Christmas songs, and this song has been around since the 15th century, but this is the first time I heard it.

(And, not to take away from the beauty of the song, but the lyrics do creep me out...he sings of Joseph being an old man and marrying the Virgin Mary. Uh....Mary was 14 years old when she had Jesus, maybe even 13. And he was an OLD MAN??? If only Chris Hansen had a time machine, the Christmas story might be remarkably different!)

Joe Wise-Cherry Tree Carol

One thing I loved about 70's rock albums were the extended songs, sometimes those that took up an entire side of a record. And Jesus Music was no exception to this, as the Joyful Noise (see One Way's website for details) performed a ten minute title track to their 1975 release, "The Nativity."

Joyful Noise-The Nativity

The Joystrings were an early British beat band that released a Christmas album in 1966 called "Well Seasoned." A nice, peppy tune to close off today's selections....

The Joystrings-The Little King Jesus

Finally, but certainly not least, is the latest installment of the SPUD 102 segments. These have been great fun, and I hope you have been enjoying them as well. And, as always, thanks for listening.

SPUD 102 12-20-2007


stubbysfears said...

Now, now, don't sell the interesting aspects of the Joy Strings short. The Joy Strings were an actual honest-to-goodness Salvation Army Band. It seems the powers that be wanted to see if they could reach more people with the message through the popular music styles of the day. They turned to Joy Webb, a Captain at the time I think, to put together such a group.

Well, the idea worked...sort of. The Joy Strings were SO successful that the Salvation Army couldn't handle it anymore--any of it--from touring to security. And so they told Joy the Strings were done after only a couple of years. Joy continued to record solo for many years thereafter. She may still be.

Most of the Joy Strings work remains unissued on CD. There was a Dutch CD of their second Christmas album. The song you offered here is from the first, "Well Seasoned", issued in Great Britain in 1966 and the following year in America. Indeed, I'm not sure, but it may be their only album that made it across the pond.

The Tone King said...


Man, you realize you just gave me another Christmas CD to track down!


*Tone King falls over exhausted!*


Anonymous said...

Thanks for making this collection available. Here's my list of country christmas album