The embryonic stages of “Contemporary Christian Music”, or “Jesus Music” began in the late 60’s-to-early 70’s. Larry Norman ventured out into a brave uncharted musical world with his own brand of “Christian rock” music. This would be carried on with others joining in this new sound like the ground breaking Christian rock band Love Song, along with artists such as Nancy Honeytree, Phil Keaggy, Paul Clark, Randy Stonehill, and many others. The industry born out of those early Contemporary Christian music artists and bands carries on today. The doors opened by Larry Norman and others have opened many other doors for those with musical talent who wish to express the Christian message in a contemporary way. It’s been an evolving and sometimes controversial expression, but an expression that’s ever attempting to tell the age old story of a Savior who longs for relationship with His creation and have it personified in the sound of the day.
While this move of “Contemporary Christian Music” was felt around the world, many were digging in their heels on a local West Michigan level. Artists and bands such as Bob Laurent’s Good News Circle, Spirit Of One and David Allen Russell were just a few of those who, early on, shared this new musical expression.
Many were influenced by the nationally and internationally known singers, songwriters and musicians. Many also were influenced by artists with a local following that helped create this musical expression known as “Contemporary Christian Music”. (Written by James Jones)