Doug Hollidge - Striking The Right Note: The Story Of The Venturers

Published Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Doug Hollidge - Striking The Right Note: The Story Of The Venturers
Doug Hollidge - Striking The Right Note: The Story Of The Venturers

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
FORMAT: Book General book

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

As someone with a longtime fascination for the history of Christian music of all types and eras, I was delighted to learn of this book's existence. The Venturers were a hugely important group in the development of contemporary Christian music in Britain and it has long frustrated me that their contribution has been all but ignored on the world wide web. Evolving from the Baptist theological training college Spurgeon's in the mid '50s, by 1958 they were shocking Britain's media with their determination to present evangelistic songs in "contemporary" forms, at first skiffle and folk spirituals and by the early '60s electric beat music. They got considerable flack for doing so but the fact that the Daily Mirror ran a story on them in 1958 headed Dig These Hep-Cat Preachers and that their EPs 'The Venturers' and 'The Venturers Again!' were best sellers in the UK Christian bookshops shows their ability to rise above the criticism. Doug Hollidge was a member of The Venturers and after decades of service as a Baptist pastor and at age 75 has put together this book chronicling the band's story. It's very much a scrapbook dominated by photos and cuttings rather than a band biog but is still an invaluable contribution to the painfully few books dealing with an era when singing "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" or The Venturers' "hit" song "Can It Be True?" on the beach at the Isle Of White or Weymouth was about as radical as you could get. So 'Striking The Right Note' is recommended for Christian music collectors and students of postwar church history.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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