Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Favorite Songs (May 2013)

Haven't done this in a LONG while, so why wait? Here's another favorite song of mine …

The song that transformed gospel music is actually based on an 18th century hymn (and only part of one, at that). Hawkins, who formed a Frisco Bay ensemble with the best voices in that area, gave the hymn the distinctive music and arrangement that would take it to international fame and a Grammy Award. Small wonder when you give it a listen, especially when the smooth opening words give way to the electrifying chorus that rings out, “He taught me how to watch ...” The song, which quickly became a gospel standard, has been covered by numerous artists, and was featured in a number of films, including Sister Act 2 and Secretariat.

It's particularly interesting that the song, part of a privately released album, got repeated airplay on the Bay Area's underground FM stations. In time, mainstream stations picked up the album and the song. From there, “Oh Happy Day” would reach No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 in the UK, selling 7 million copies. While that song would prove to be the peak of the group's commercial success, they would go on to earn three more Grammy Awards. The lead singer on the song, Dorothy Combs Morrison, would quickly go on to a solo career. Her debut single released later that year, “All God's Children Got Soul,” just made it into the Hot 100, but Morrison's performance of the song was immortalized in the concert film Celebration at Big Sur.

It wouldn't be the first time a Christian song was a major pop hit; Elvis took “Crying in the Chapel” into the Top 10 four years earlier. But it's still astounding that a song that proclaimed "oh happy day/when Jesus washed my sins away” got such monstrous airplay at that time, putting Jesus' salvation message in front of millions around the world.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Two must-read links ... make that three ... while you can

(Updated 5/16/13)

Three must-read links for my readers. And I do mean you MUST READ—before the Justice Department decides to “suspend” my blog for being on the wrong side of political correctness:

Gay Marriage vs. Tax Exempt Churches (Brian Cherry, Canada Free Press)
Though you're sure to disagree with parts of this article, the central premise is chillingly on target: “The gay marriage issue, as it is currently being pursued, is a back door assault on the constitutional freedom of religion and [Bible-believing] Christian churches.”

The Mask is Ripped Off of “Hope and Change” (Jim Geraghty, National Review)
A good brief rundown of the three scandals rocking the Obama administration, with a succinct summation: “You 'Hope and Change' true believers were a bunch of chumps.” Check out the picture at the end of the article. And get ready for more Captain Renault imitations by our beloved Great Leader about the subversion of the Constitution he ordered in these Nixonish acts: “I'm shocked, SHOCKED!”

Glenn Beck has pointed to Obama's “magician” abilities in diverting attention from critical issues with “spontaneous” eruptions in the news cycle. So could the IRS campaign against conservative groups and Justice Department press wiretapping (stories in the previous link) be diversions from a central question in the Benghazi killings? That central question: where WAS our Commander-in-Chief while Americans, including an ambassador, were being slaughtered at a US embassy in Libya? “With Benghazi, we have a Commander-in-Chief who, while acting in that capacity, fits the very definition of MIA, or missing-in-action. Not AWOL as some have proclaimed, but MIA. A schedule not erased after the fact, but an itinerary deliberately withheld from the purview of us all. The Commander-in-Chief inexplicably went 'off the grid' during a time of national and international crisis. He became MIA, but why?