One of the features of this blog is the Music Pages, where some music of the “Jesus Music” era is featured, a good deal of it to the delight of the artists. I can’t take the credit for starting this; that must go to “Diakoneo” of the Ancient Star-Song, whose blog started in 2006 and who, along with Heavenly Grooves, got me re-ignited about this time of music, both Protestant and Catholic.
Christian music in the 1960’s and 1970’s was many things, among them very evangelistic, experimental and even artistic. When Christian music transitioned from ministry to business in the 1980’s, a great deal of the experimental and artistic part fell by the wayside. Adding to the oblivion was the transition from vinyl to CD, which literally shelved a great deal of the music (except for the collectors, who could eventually turn to Ken Scott’s Archivist).
Diakoneo’s and others’ music blogging put a great deal of this back into circulation. The better known artists and labels were able to keep their albums in distribution, and these were excluded from reputable blogs like the Ancient Star-Song. But many, especially independent and private label albums, were in oblivion until blogged. And one thing I’ve found out is that the worst thing an artist can experience is to be forgotten. To experience this music has been a joy and a blessing at a time when current praise and worship music is, by and large, not to my taste.
Never a straightforward proposition, Christian music blogging took a body blow two years ago in the wake of the “Kim Dotcom” disaster. Today the Ancient Star-Song is largely a catalogue, taken mostly from Ken Scott’s book, of the music of the era as opposed to the music itself. But it’s a great catalogue and, after a hiatus, I’m glad to see that it’s back.
P.S. One interesting twist concerns Catholic folk music. To his credit, Ken Scott had no problem featuring the Catholic artists of the era, something many Protestants wouldn’t do. Diakoneo and others followed his lead. Much of this music is in an especially deep oblivion because a) the Catholic church has turned away from the folk Mass after Pope Paul VI, b) the changes in the liturgy (first to the NOM and then to the new English translation) have made much of it unsuitable for current Masses and c) the full Nelson OCP has on parish music crowds out just about everything and everyone else. To rescue this is a special joy, both for me and for the artists.