Where our intrepid editorial team take an askance look at the weird and wonderful world of music and media.
Lovers of gospel trivia (Aren't we all? Ed) may be intrigued to learn that the longest artist credit ever crammed onto an album sleeve occurred in 1979 when America's Savoy Records released 'I'm Leaving You In the Hands Of Christ' by (deep breath) Bishop Billy Robinson And The Garden Of Prayer Cathedral Choir Of The Church Of God In Christ. The said historic album also lays claim to the most awesomely over-the-top liner notes ever perpetrated on the album buying public. We reprint a taster for your edification: 'Another indelible footprint has been made in the sands of time for this dynamic and anointed group through the media of this great album. Many souls will be blessed through these God given melodies and lyrics because the presence of God was in the building in a mighty way when these songs of Zion were being perpetuated on wax. The opportunity has been afforded us by God through the management of this great record company to continue Strolling Down Blessing Boulevard with the really great, scintillating, soul searching, soul soothing music of this dual album." It goes on in similar tones for another four paragraphs. So what did this Stroll Down Blessing Boulevard sound like? "Very average," reports our esteemed editor.
If Bishop Billy Robinson And The Garden...(Look, not again. Ed), if that album had the longest artist credit it seems the Cross Reviews section has documented the most over used moniker. In issue nine of your favourite mag we reviewed a tape by Freedom, in issue 12 we reviewed a tape by Freedom and in this issue we review (Let me guess. Ed)... a tape by Freedom. The only thing is that they're all different groups! The current ish Freedom are from Stockport, the issue 12 Freedom hail from Leeds and the Freedom in issue nine are from Washington DC. Free to be different?
In the States it seems anything is deemed as appropriate to promote contemporary Christian music. One of the strangest examples to come to our attention recently was by Steven Curtis Chapman. We quote from CCM Update trade publication: "Steven Curtis Chapman is the focus of a special Valentine's Day promotion for Christie Cookies, a promotional spot which will air on more than 70 Christian radio stations nationwide. The spot, co-voiced by Chapman (right) and cookie mogul Christie Hauck, invites listeners to send a special tin of Christie Cookies anywhere in the country, which will also include a limited edition cassette single of Chapman's new release, 'Go There With You'." Brits take note and expect an announcement concerning the Eden Buming/McVi-ties' Digestive promotional tie up shortly! Talking of Steven Curtis Chapman . . . Not only did he go down an absolute storm at the Christian Booksellers Convention he was the first to, publicly at least, crack a joke that is going to drive certain Milton Keynes execs crazy in the months ahead. Getting a bit dry after singing a song (Must be all those cookies. Ed) he mentioned the chap who brought him a glass of water, calling him Nelson Word.
Welcome on board the editorial flagship of Cross Rhythms master Bellamy. (Thankee Cap'n. Jonathan Bellamy) (Look Bellamy, I'm the only chap allowed to put all these asides in brackets. Ed) Jonathan breaks a long tradition, already mentioned in a previous Sidelong Glance, of taking up the assistant editorship AND possessing a CD machine. Well, he did. Such is the state of the editorial budget that the office CD player, thoughtlessly removed by the Wednesbury Burglar (as he's affectionately known), has not been replaced. So, first day of his new duties, Cummings struck, begged the loan of Bellamy's handsome CD player and now still wet behind the ears Bellamy joins the proud tradition of Cross Rhythms' CD-less assistant editors. Apart from a couple of cruel observations that he looks about 12, we thought our pic of Midlands muso Mike Stanley accompanying the feature in Cross Rhythms 13 decidedly ordinary. Then we espied a photo of top US gospel group 4 Him and specifically one Marty MaGehee who sings in the aforementioned group. We print both photos here; Mike Stanley is on the left. See a vague resemblance anyone?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.