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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
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
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
Your guide to the NeWest happeNiNgs iN ChristiaN musiC by andy argyrakis