Ray Repp - The Best Of Ray Repp Vol 1

Published Saturday 15th April 2006
Ray Repp - The Best Of Ray Repp Vol 1
Ray Repp - The Best Of Ray Repp Vol 1

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15627-10911
LABEL: Independent OCP12187

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct

Reviewed by Chris Tozer

Whilst Larry Norman is rightly considered to be the grandfather of Christian rock and roll, Ray Repp can truly be regarded as the founding father of contemporary Christian music as a whole, for he first started composing modern church worship music whilst dear Larry was barely out of short trousers. During the '60s, with his Mass For Young Americans, Repp was the leader of a popular movement that successfully brought acoustic guitars and folk music into the Roman Catholic church. He was also well known as the composer of songs such as "Hear, O Lord", "I Am The Resurrection" and "To Be Alive" - not through airplay or coast-to-coast album promotional tours but because church youth group leaders bought his records and taught the songs to the kids in their charge. Invoking the call of the Second Vatican Council to make the Church relevant to those outside, Repp drew inspiration from Top 40 folk singers of the day like the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul And Mary and many of the songs on this, the first of a two-volume retrospective, were sung widely by young Christians throughout the English speaking world 40 years ago. But, as Dylan took up the mainstream torch from the old folkies, so Repp's influence waned once the worship bands added drums and likewise "went electric". Listening to these earnest, crystal clear recordings enables the listener to see just how far Christians have progressed. Like the Jesus music that followed, these folk songs are largely ignored by today's Church - a mistake in my opinion. To understand where you're going it helps to know where you've come from. So, worship pioneers like Repp deserve to be remembered by the whole Church.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Barbara in Pennsylvannia @ 16:22 on Sep 10 2014

I need the song "When Two or More" Shaker Melody by Ray Repp.

I need it "YESTERDAY"
It is a Funeral Request.
Does anyone have the lyrics and or music???


Posted by Lillian Moakler in St. John's NFLD Canada @ 15:07 on Mar 4 2014

I am looking for the Musical Notes for="Follow Me" by Ray Repp

Posted by Joey Brozenick in Vero Beach, FL @ 20:23 on Sep 27 2012

This guy was pure genius among the early composers of Christian folk music. I had a brief stint as a seminarian at St. Joseph's Prep Seminary in Vienna WV.

Our choir director Fr. Tom Magary knew how to bring out the best in us and drew every bit of melody and harmony into perfect balance. With the addition of the guitars and keyboards/bass, the all male chorus was
quite popular. Going to Mass there in the 70's during a retreat or just in ordinary time, especially in autumn would really warm your heart. I can still close my eyes and if I listen closely, see and hear all the lads in our green blazers singing our hearts out. Thanks Ray.

Posted by Barbara Culotti in Florida @ 22:20 on Sep 21 2011

I have just had a request to sing Ray Repp's "into Your Hands" at a Catholic memorial service this Sat. I couldn't locate it, but it had the same name as a song I sing regularly with the Spanish Mass choir, called, "Entre Tus Manos." I checked with the family and it is the same one.
It is a beautiful song, and one of my favorites! I still didn't find the actual English lyrics for it, though I have the Spanish words and music, and a sort of translation from a blog that I'm referring to for help.
I don't actually "speak" Spanish, but "pronounce" it, but I have the gist and am writing a sort of translation for the Spanish words.
Ray Repp deserves more recognition, for sure.

Posted by Art Morrissette in Biddeford ME @ 03:39 on Jun 12 2011

I was a seminarian in the greater Boston area, and our folk singing group introduced parishes there to the new vernacular mass in 1965-66. The Catholic Church had no tradition of English hymns, so it eagerly latched onto Repp's contemporary folk songs. Outside of Southern Gospel, mainline Protestant churches didn't have a contemporary folk tradition either, so they followed suit. Some of Repp's early work were truly inspiring, have become classic, while other songs, though popular initially, were somewhat amateurish. In Rebb, we were lucky to have not only a gifted composer, but a visionary of what truy constitutes truly worshipful music.

Posted by Gabby Cristobal in Philippines @ 08:29 on Dec 14 2009

I've been familiar and even taught Ray Repp's liturgical music to the congregations and choirs of Cotabato City Cathedral, St. Pancratius Chapel at Paco Park, Manila, and the chapel of the Philippine General Hospital.

I certainly value his music as best examples of ecumenical worship.

Posted by Mary Lou Corbiere in Cooper City, Florida @ 17:42 on May 15 2009

I'm looking for the written guitar or choral arrangement of Hear O Lord by Ray Repp.

Reply by Steve Sillato in MacMasters Beach NSW Australia @ 08:27 on Sep 11 2009

I just happened to see your message. I play this at our masses regularly. I printed up my own lyric sheets to hand out so we can do Ray's "Hear o Lord", "I will follow" and "Of my hands". All are great hymns and 3 of my all time favourites. I E-mailed Ray nearly a year ago and he replied with the music to all three as Jpeg files. I was surprised and honoured. Unfortunately I don't remember his E-mail address, but if you want to E-mail me (itsillutions@ozemail.com.au) I can forward them to you. The chords for "Hear" are basically in 2 parts. The chorus is C-Am-F-G (x4) and the verses are Am-F-G-Am-F-G-C-C7-Am-F-G-Am-F-D-G-G7. I hope this helps. He is one of the all time greats. God bless. Steve.

[report abuse]

Posted by Kasey Kelly in Binghamton, NY @ 23:23 on Jul 19 2008

My great uncle Father William Kelly was Ray's partner for many years and they worked together under K&R Records. Ray was family to me when I was little and to hear how much he and my Great Uncle Father Bill touched people is truly amazing. I remember hearing these songs as a little girl and never realizing how influential they were.

Reply by Robert Hess in New Hyde Park, NY @ 19:22 on May 26 2011

Dear Ms. Kelly; I am looking for someone whose great uncle worked with Ray Repp. If you are that person, who lived in Binghamton, would you have access to copies of his music? We are planning an oldies mass here in New Hyde Park on Long Island. Thank you and God bless!
Rob Hess Holy Spirit Parish New Hyde Park, NY

[report abuse]

Posted by David melancon in Florida @ 18:58 on Jan 28 2008

Where do I buy Ray Repp Albums and/or CDs.

Posted by Katie Starnes in Orange Park, FL @ 04:41 on Nov 18 2007

I was a counselor at Good Counsel Camp in Inverness, FL in the late 60's. We attended Mass every morning and had the rosary and Benediction every evening - very "old Catholic" some might say. We sang songs from Mass for Young Americans with such love and worship. It was truly a Charasmatic experience although not called that at the time. We have gone back for several reunions and sing those beautiful songs right from the heart. Love of God is expressed in many ways. Katie Ann(Welsh) Starnes

Reply by Pat in Martinsville, nj @ 02:46 on Dec 21 2007

Katie, Try a website called CCLI.COM You may have to pay for copies but they seem to offer just about anything you want regarding music.

I knew Ray when I was a member of the Extension Lay Volunteers in Chicago in the '60s. Many of us had a reunion in 1990 in Chi. and Ray was there to furnish a lot of the music we used for liturgy

[report abuse]

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