the lyrics [like] some of the hit songs from our past. It is a similar sound because of the way we approach vocals and songs. It is different in that we have incorporated new music and some new style elements, such as an urban country feel…There are fewer rules [in Christian music] now than before, so we have a lot of freedom to create and explore our music. CCM: Why did you decide to call the album Still Standing? Evans: We believe that we, as Christian musicians, need to stand for something that does not change and does not fail. We are Still Standing for what we believe and the message in our music, and because we have a desire and heart to still sing. After all that has come and gone in Christian music over the last few years, it is exciting to realize we can still be a viable presence in Christian music. CCM: Who is the group’s audience at this stage of your career? MoralEs: We were just laughing about that the other day. We have friends from the ‘90s, ‘80s, ‘70s, and even some who have followed us from our beginning in the ‘60s. We believe we are still expanding our footprint and are looking forward to hearing this generation comment on our music. We hope those who have followed us in the past will be happy to see us re-surface and perhaps we will meet some new friends who will experience the group for the very first time. They were the inaugural Christian group to ever perform on the Grammy Awards (while taking home four trophies in the process), simultaneously racking up an astounding 17 Dove Awards (including the first ever “Male Group of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” nods). All the while, The Classic Imperials landed chart-topping hits in four consecutive decades, performed on stage and the silver screen with Elvis Presley and topped it all off with a spot in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Catch more from founder Armond Morales and five year member/general manager Rick Evans as they share with CCM the story behind the group’s new CD Still Standing (Hall of Fame Music Group/ Infinity Music Distribution), which also features three-decade mainstay Dave Will and the recently returning favorite Paul Smith. CCM: What are the similarities and differences between the group’s new and past sounds? MoralEs: First we have three out of the four members being reunited, and that creates some real “Imperial” moments. The things that are the same are those moments when the harmony and energy of the group surround thE classic iMpErials Your guide to the NeWest happeNiNgs iN ChristiaN musiC by andy argyrakis WHAt’s NeW 14 CCM