You’ve occasionally heard it said, “The public has a short memory.” Sometimes it is advantageous to do so. But other times, to keep our Christian culture strong – indeed, our very souls robust and virile – we need to remember those Christian artists who breathed and exuded the very air of timelessness. Indeed, of Eternity!
Keith Green was one such piano-playing Christian artist who radiated creativity as it was meant to be created! A brief 40 years after his untimely quick death, I find a eulogy for his musical creations nowhere in sight. They are timeless because their Christian themes are timeless!
Just weeks before the death in his airplane, leased for engagements, I was in a Christian music store listening to his latest CDs. I still remember the excitement of his unique creations! I was in no hurry to leave the store. A bond had quickly formed and I knew it wasn’t going to go away.
And to this very day it remains just as strong as it was in that addictive music outlet! Please go to the following video and begin at the 20:35 time mark and see if you can experience now what I did then! Just click the following photo!
Obsessively involved in the 1960s and 1970s with music on TV and radio myself, I could see that influence building – as creativity should – with the ongoing creations of Keith Green! I wrote and recorded my first song at age 14; but he started at age 10 and had a recording contract with Decca Records already at age 11! Young and talented Keith Green appeared on the following B & W TV show at age 11. What a way to remember! See him playing at age 11 starting at the 5:18 time mark on this video! (Please click photo!)
This was the way to write and perform music! Today the process is much rarer, thanks to the de-humanizing aspect of digitally writing and recording music. But then as we both knew, you captured the mood of a situation (soon expressed as a wonderful lyric) to the melody, then worked the music to fit the mood of the melody with lots of appropriate embellishments and innovations! (And not produce digital music first, then try to work a lyric into it. No! It had to come from the spirit and soul first, from experience, and the musical elements were arranged around and through it!)
That’s what I did when I wrote my first song in 1967! It was quite a surprise to me, 40 years later, when I was notified this first song got us into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame! Truly, as Keith Green would authoritatively admit, these are the little products of musical gifts given by God, ultimately for service to glorify Him! May all who read this continue to be Good and Responsible Stewards of their Musical Gifts today!