God Songs – My History of Christian Music
Originally posted by James Scott
Christian contemporary music has gone through many changes over the years. The origins can be found mainly during the Jesus Movement of the late 60’s. Artists like Larry Norman paved the way for the many Christian music artists of today. During that time there were also songs released on the mainstream airwaves that praised Jesus and got his message out there. Songs like “Put Your Hand in the Hand” by Ocean even made it high in the hot 100 and were really getting exposure. There was resistance however many people didn’t believe the life style that rock stars generally led could mix with the message being told. Even with the detractors the popularity of these God songs continued to rise and more people began to be won over.
Unfortunately, as popularity continued to rise the bandwagon effect became apparent. Some bands who may not have been talented enough to make it mainstream were releasing some subpar God songs. Due to there not being many Christian bands these albums were being released to try and fill a void. This is a problem that many fledgling music genres see. Were these bands truly trying to deliver Christ’s message or trying to make a quick buck? Only God knows what’s in the heart of man.
The questionable artists were soon outnumbered by real talents. Christian artists like Petra, an early pioneer in Christian rock formed in 1972, started to gain popularity in the eighties. Petra essentially set the bar for future Christian bands. The quality of God songs being released by Christian bands really started to improve. More and more people were finding quality Christian music that fit their tastes.
Petra’s popularity carried well into the nineties. More and more styles were being incorporated into Christian music. DC Talk went from Christian hip-hop to more of a grunge sound. T-Bone started to release a Christian alternative to gangsta rap. The nineties were the beginning of a great time in Christian music. Today Christian music is a widely accepted and popular music genre. The style has evolved right along with other popular music. Bands like Jars of Clay release albums that debut on the billboard mainstream chart. Christian music artists star in feature films like T-Bone in “The Fighting Temptations.” God songs are regularly featured in popular mainstream television shows. There will always be detractors, but this should not discourage people from checking out Christian music.
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