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Larry Norman at Jesus Sound Explo '72 / Sweet Song of Salvation

4y ago


In 1972, when this Awesome performance took place, "Christian Rock" was still in it's infancy and experiencing more than just a few growing pains. I grew up in the late 60's and 70's time period and I remember very well the controversy and sometimes scandalous drama that surrounded the new "Jesus Movement" music. What is now known as "Contemporary" Christian music came about because of the very hard work of people who were ridiculed, ostracised and shunned by the Christian community at large. The heart of the issue: Christian music should not sound like worldly rock music and furthermore, Christian musicians had better keep their hair cut to a very short and respectable length. The music of brilliant songwriters and crucial pioneers like Randy Matthews, Larry Norman and Andrae Crouch was basically labeled satanic and blasphemous and pretty much banned in many Christian circles including mine. Now that I'm older, I understand that whole time period better, I think...Because I now have that same protective / sometimes over-protective tendency when it comes to new things like young peoples music, hairstyle, school classes, etc. And Christian Rock was new and without digging below it's louder surface, it definitely did not resemble the previous generation's Amazing Grace / Rock of Ages Hymns. Ahhh, but take the time to go ahead and actually dig down into the lyrics and look past the hair into the meaning and intentions of the song and guess what - The old beloved hymns and the new Christian rock had a whole lot in common and the most important thing that they had in common was this: They glorified God. Right on.