The Real Story Behind the Artists, Songs and Executives
Who Built the Contemporary Christian Music Industry
THE MUSIC. THE MEMORIES. AND NOW…THE STORY!
Over the last 40 years, Contemporary Christian Music has impacted millions of lives. As a CCM Magazine reader, you are very likely surrounded by songs of faith and hope every day on your favorite radio network, countless streaming services or iTunes. Great CCM songs with each click, but it hasn’t always been that way.
When I began my career in Christian music, way back in 1970, there was no such thing as Contemporary Christian music. Most of my days at Word Records were spent trying to figure out how to sell a few more Norma Zimmer or Happy Goodman Family LPs. Yes…LPs, and an occasional 8 track tape or two!
The stores we served were clearly “Bible bookstores” whose owners had very little interest in the music we tried to sell them, but change was in the air and coming very soon. As a twenty-year-old, I soon discovered that our catalogue included a guy from California named Andrae Crouch. His songs sounded like a gospel version of Motown to me, and I finally had some music to sell that I actually liked.
Before long, I began to hear the sounds the Jesus Movement, and my life and career were forever changed. Over the next few years, I helped introduce artists like 2nd Chapter of Acts, Larry Norman, Don Francisco, Love Song, and Petra to a whole new audience of listeners. It took a while, but we finally got their music into the stores and on the radio, and the first steps toward CCM were underway. Before long, the CCM Magazine that you read today was launched.
It took nearly five years to build the radio and retail structure that delivered that “new sound” to folks like you, and as always, the music of that day continued to change. Seemingly overnight, artists like The Imperials morphed from their southern gospel heritage into a more contemporary sound. Other suddenly successful artists like Evie Tornquist (“I’m only 4 foot 11, but I’m going to heaven”) forced us to realize that God was inspiring a whole new sound that clearly wasn’t Jesus Music.
Evie and BJ Thomas surrounded by Word executives Stan Moser, Roland Lundy and Dan Johnson shortly after the release of BJ’s “Home Where I Belong” album in 1977
I vividly recall leading a meeting at Word Records in 1975 to try and determine the perfect brand name for this “contemporary, but not Jesus Music” sound explosion. As we began the meeting, I wrote these words across the top of my yellow pad: Contemporary Christian Music and boldly proclaimed, “We’re here today to find a name for this new contemporary Christian music. That’s really what it is, but obviously that name will never work. So, let’s figure out a name that will.” After an hour and more than 25 potential names or brands, I closed the meeting with these words, “Well, none of these ideas are going to work, so we might as well just call it Contemporary Christian Music and make that mean something.” And over the next few years, that’s exactly what happened.
That’s just one of the amazing stories you will find in the “We Will Stand” book, and if you are a fan of CCM, this book is for you! It contains story after story—the real stories behind the artist signings, the songwriting, the magazines, festivals, and radio stations that have been bringing people like you to greater hope and faith for more than 4 decades.
I lived those stories, but I was far from the only one. In fact, as I sensed the Lord directing me to write this book, I spent months interviewing more than 65 of my former colleagues, friends, and competitors to be sure I was capturing real truth. Every word of this book has been checked and cross-checked by those contributors. This is OUR collective recollection—it is a real and thorough insider’s view of the songs and artists that have impacted millions of lives, including yours.
So, take a few minutes and explore www.CCMUnited.com. Scroll down to the products section there and watch the video that describes this book. While you’re there check out the DVD and CD we created just a few years ago. It’s still hard for me to believe that we actually had 33 of the top CCM artists of all time on one stage, singing 45 of the songs that define CCM’s first 40 years! It truly was what many have called, “The Greatest Night in CCM History.” And as a CCM Magazine viewer, you can own each product at more than 50% off of retail (while supplies last) PLUS get a FREE copy of the Book with every CD or DVD you purchase!
We Will Stand Book Features
- A 233-page hardcover book with foil stamping
- Contains more than 60 pictures, many seen here for the first time
- Content developed from interviews with more than 60 industry insiders
We Will Stand DVD and double CD Features
A two-hour event many have called “the greatest night in CCM history
- Products contain more than thirty of the greatest CCM artists performing 45 songs
- You can enjoy your favorite artists singing many of those songs together!
Check out the video of this amazing night of music!
As a CCM Magazine reader
Get 50% on DVDs and CDs
PLUS a FREE Book with every product you order!
About the Author
Stan Moser began his career in the Christian music industry as part time employee at Word Records in Waco, Texas in early 1970. During the next twenty five years, his leadership roles at Word, Marantha!Music, and Star Song made him one of the key executives who helped launch a musical era that is still touching lives. Stan’s career spans more than 5 decades, and he continues to work alongside those in the CCM leadership as the Founder and Executive Director of Worship Underground (www.WorshipUnderground.com).