Anyone who’s followed this site over the last 25+ years knows that I cut my teeth on mid-90s Christian Music in addition to Southern Gospel. I, like the rest of late Gen-Xers, spent my childhood listening to Sandi Patty’s Friendship Company, Carman’s classic Addicted to Jesus, and the now canceled Ray Boltz. It wasn’t until I bought the My Utmost for His Highest special event project on a whim that I truly fell in love with Christian music.
That recording featured a lot of artists that I already had a cursory knowledge of like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, 4HIM, and Steven Curtis Chapman. However, it introduced me to some artists I had never even heard of that would go on to become some of my all-time favorite recording artists like Phillips Craig & Dean, Point of Grace, Bryan Duncan, and my all-time favorite singer/songwriter Cindy Morgan. I credit that recording alone as my “entry drug” into what has become my all-time favorite era of music: Christian pop from the early 90s to the mid-00s.
The songs and recordings from that era are the most cherished in my Apple Music collection. Songs like Phillips Craig & Dean’s “Crucified with Christ,” Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Dive,” Clay Crosse’s “Saving the World,” or Jonathan Pierce’s “Healing Hands” are instant classics. I can listen to tracks and instantly be transported back to my awkward yet influential teenage years.
I mention all of this to bring you the first installment of what will be a continuing series of sorts from me. I enjoy and take in so much entertainment from music to books to movies to TV, that I thought it might be nice to recommend some of those things that I find enjoyable and life affecting for me. In addition to all of that, due to my other job where I travel frequently and spend a lot of time alone in the car, I find myself listening to a lot of podcasts. And I mean a LOT.
My first recommendation is a combination of these two loves for me: podcasts and mid-90s Christian music. 4HIM’s Andy Chrisman recently launched a fantastic podcast where he interview’s artists and songwriters and producers from that era of Christian music where they talk about their careers: the highs and lows, the acceptances and rejections, and how life has had to change for them since that time. This is such a fun collection of interviews, that I can’t help but smile as I reminisce alongside some of my favorites from that time period.
For the uninitiated, I’d start with Andy’s interview with Don Koch and Dave Clark. These two wrote most of 4HIM’s hits, but are also big collaborators in our market as well. Koch in particular really gave some interesting insights into where Southern Gospel is now that were very intriguing, and Clark just celebrated having a #1 song in each of the last 5 decades, the last being for Joseph Habedank’s “Child of the King.” Of course, I loved his interview with Cindy Morgan, and his chat with Wayne Watson was spiritual nourishment for sure.
The name of the podcast is 1 Degree of Andy Chrisman and can be found on all podcast networks like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.