When I googled Janny Grein a few weeks ago and wrote about the song, "Covenant Woman," the clip I actually encountered was from a recent recording project bringing together 10 of the great artists from the 70s. I had a blast exploring their website and listening to snippets of some of my all-time favorite artists. www.thebeginningsconcert.com
I grew up listening to the Rambos, so Reba Rambo-McGuire, to whom I shyly said hello in a ladies room at a Rambo concert in Baton Rouge in about '75 or '76 (and she so graciously flashed that million-dollar smile at me) has always been a favorite. She definitely has one of the most distinctive voices on the planet.
There is no denying I had a teensy bit of a crush on Dony McGuire and his rich, soulful voice when he was part of the Downings (I was a silly kid) and I got to sit about 3 feet away from him playing the piano at one of their concerts at a crowded Assembly of God in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in about 1974. I also won, from the local Christian radio station, the Downings album featuring Dony singing, "It's My Desire," which I was often called on in my local church to sing and remains a "life song" for me.
A bit later I got into Barry McGuire and actually had his 8-tracks, of all things! Listening to "Cosmic Cowboy" would literally give me chills!
The Archers and Dallas Holm & Praise really captured the sound of my life as a Pentecostal preacher's daughter. Their heart-felt, moving music was much-loved in my family. "Rise Again" by Dallas Holm remains was one the most powerful songs ever, doesn't it?
There's David Meece, who for some reason sorta reminds me of the disco era and Don Francisco, who can really tell a story in a song, belting out the timeless anthem: "He's Alive!" Leon Patillo, who once sang as lead for Santana, could get a crowd on its feet!
In the last few years, as I have collected old LPs from thrift stores of the great Jesus music of the 1970s, I have really come to understand how much Chuck Girard (with Love Song and later) influenced my passion for very vertical worship (see the clip where he is leading "It's the Name above all names, and we will declare it to a dying world!").
These artists are so varied in style, each so influential. Thirty years later, I am still loving their contributions and the legacy they have shared.
It makes me wonder if my kids, who are all worshipers and are in worship ministry, would have some fleeting familiarity, a moment of recognition – if they heard this music? Would they innately know: this is what I come from, I've heard this song before?
God has filled my life's path with the sounds of heaven…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: I wonder if I could get the WWM team (www.worshipandtheword.com) to go for putting together a Heaven Fest for us old-timers (www.heavenfest.com)? Maybe since we're closer to our end, we could call it "Closer-to-Heaven-Fest"?