Friday, January 30, 2015

Spiritual Revolution Day in Cincinnati Ohio

March 27, 1971 was Spiritual Revolution Day, at least in Cincinnati, Ohio

Bearing the caption “Live Jesus Trip And Pop Concert”, this virtually unknown custom press documents some of the dialogue and musical performances of the event. An unidentified “special guest” gives the opening comments – I’m pretty sure it’s Randy Matthews. 

The group God’s Children provides two songs: ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Coming Home’, both in a piano-accompanied light rock style. 

They’re followed by a like-wow-man zoned-out Jesus freak who provides a few remarks on Christ’s imminent return and baptizing some converts from the concert in the river. He then introduces the band Maranatha. 

These guys are the highlight of the lLP, delivering two tracks of good basement electric-guitar-and-organ rock that includes some rough fuzz outbursts. One of the songs is Randy Matthews’ ‘Children Come Together’. It’s a low-fi sound like Wilson McKinley’s On Stage, but nevertheless quite cool. These guys were obviously quite excited, givin’ shouts of “if you love Jesus say amen!” and “one way!” between the songs. 

Side two continues with two more fine songs by Maranatha: ‘Country Boy’ and ‘God’s Creation’, both lengthy ballads with a rural feel. 

Lillie Knauls is next with a pair of contemporary black gospel numbers including Edwin Hawkins’ ‘Come & Go With Me’. 

Lastly, someone identified only as “a brother” (I’m quite certain it’s Randy Stonehill) does a brief a cappella song (a portion of ‘Baby Out Of Wedlock’) followed by closing in prayer. 

Back cover has a small pic of a flyer advertising the concert. Arthur Blessit, Glenn Schwartz and Larry Norman are listed but they’re not on the actual recording. 

Like Jesus Sound Explosion and Jesus People, this album definitely captures the spirit and enthusiasm of the times.    (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott)

I attended the event and most of the concert. So did my then girlfriend and future wife. I wish I could find a picture of the back cover. My Linny's picture graces it.

I am not certain why some of the names were omitted on the recording. The group called Maranata was comprised of a then unknown Randy Matthews, who was director of The Cincinnati Jesus House and a student at the Cincinnati Bible Seminary, Ted Baxendale, also a student at the Seminary. Both guys sang and played guitar. 

Their friend from California joined them on stage. His name was O.J. Petersen, a former biker from Los Angeles and friend of Arthur Blessit. O.J. played organ and sang on his song Country Boy. O.J. got his nickname because he became sober and his new drink of choice guessed it; orange juice.

Rich Davis sang a song he wrote about creation. Randy Stonehill was the M.C. wearing his Superman T-Shirt and a top coat.

This poster is from Spiritual Revolution Day II

Lilly Knauls was a special lady. For the second Spiritual Revolution Day which occurred two years later I picked her up at her hotel and drove her to her rehearsal.

In late fall the recording was produced in the home of the fellow that did the live recording. I was there and helped my friends decide the order of the songs and how much crowd noise should be left on the soundtrack. This was back in the days when all recording was done on tape. The "producer" was handy with a razor blade and the tape which he spliced together.

It was a wonderful day and was the day that I and my girlfriend went to the Ohio River and were baptized.

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