For almost two decades Gary Alan had prayed and watched for greater opportunities to use his talents for the Lord. He was told more than once that he should start his own radio program. In early 2004, the Holy Spirit breathed life into an idea and the Christian Oldies Radio Program and ministry was born.
He has a home studio that he’s been using for many years to provide voice recordings for various ministries and advertising agencies. He researched Contemporary Christian Music from 1965 to 1985 by going through his personal collection and by communicating with the folks at CCM Magazine. With the help of CCM and a growing network of other audiophiles, he carefully built a database of what were the most popular songs during that era. He even sent out CDs, rough demos of the program to friends and family asking for their input. Over the next few months “Christian Oldies” was trademarked, acquired the Christian Oldies domain, the website went live 10/16/04 and the first Christian Oldies Radio Program was broadcast Saturday October 23rd on KDOV in Medford, OR. The program includes music along with backstories of artists, name of the albums and year released. The Christian Oldies Radio Program has been broadcast over several stations over the years, including a station in Africa. In October 2019 “Christian Oldies” began broadcasting it’s music 24/7 online through LIVE365. Many lives have been touched by the ministry of these two decades of contemporary Christian music, old school. Or as we call it “Christian Oldies.”
Now, let’s get to know a little more about the man behind the Christian Oldies online streaming radio station…
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My legal name is Gary Alan Roby. My first full time position in radio was back in the mid-1970s at KEAR in San Francisco. As I was obtaining my FCC licensing, I was told that it was best not to use my actual name over the radio due to privacy concerns. So my ‘on air’ name was/is Gary Alan. That name has stuck with me throughout my many years with various positions in radio stations.
Music has been an integral part of me ever since I can remember. And I remember singing Hymns and Country & Western music as early as 5 years old. I sang in the church and school choirs and then formed a quartet with other High School graduates. As the Alumni Four Quartet, we put together a short tour during the summer of ’68. Being raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I remember hearing about the Jesus Movement of Southern California and watched the Hippy Movement and heard their music. My background was very ‘conservative’ so I gravitated toward groups like Haven of Rest Quartet and also enjoyed the music of Bill Pearce and Nightsounds, pretty much focused on the traditional hymns.
Early in my Radio career, I did extensive research into various music genres. Then over the years, God expanded my ‘taste buds’ to the point that I appreciated all forms of Christian music. The first time I heard Stryper and the song “To Hell With The Devil” back in ’86 I thought my head would explode. It was way outside my comfort zone. I came to believe that God can and will use all forms of music to glorify Himself. To bring me to that point, God used that Stryper song, the story of how he even used a donkey to speak His word, and the fact His word will not return to Him void.
God allowed me to work as a sales representative for two Christian recording companies in the late 70s and early 80s. I learned a lot about the entire Christian music industry through attending many live concerts, investing time back stage with artists, watching work by “roadies” and all the intricacies of music ministry on a national level. And although I already had a huge collection of CCM that I acquired over the years, this opportunity allowed that inventory to grow immensely. My library included 8 tracks, reel-to-reel, LPs, cassettes and CDs.
I know the effect that this music has had on my spiritual growth over the years. It is filled with God’s word and I believe that is its real power to change lives. My passion is to get this music into the ears and hearts of God’s people once again. Its message is not old and outdated but living and powerful and more up to date lyrically than tomorrow’s newspaper. I am dedicated to making contemporary Christian music of 1965 through 1985 available through the Christian Oldies radio program, the ChristianOldies.com website, the Christian Oldies music station online and every other opportunity I have as God directs.
Some of my favorite artists include The Imperials, The Archers, Allies, Russ Taff and DeGarmo & Key.
I completed 4 years of college, married the woman of my dreams back in 1971, quickly approaching our half century anniversary. We were blessed with five children. They have blessed us with many grandchildren. My home for the past 35 years is in Medford, Oregon.
My average day includes basically four different areas of focus listed here and not necessarily in this order. 1) research, planning and maintaining the Christian Oldies Online Station, 2) the Call To Worship Ministries, including a one hour weekly radio program broadcast on stations across the U.S. 3) being the primary caregiver for my 91 year old father who lives with us and 4) time invested between my wife, family and working outdoors in the yard.