CCM Classic Blog

The Heart Beat At The Forefront of Classic CCM Music By Philip Mayabb

Great News: For the month  of May, on the Vinyl Revival side; we will be playing exclusively Christian rock.

In the year of our Lord 1981, the Bill Gaither Trio released a historically significant album...a double LP called "Live Across America".  The album was significant for two reasons...first, it included Bill Gaither and Gary McSpadden singing in a quartet with backup singers Steve Green and Lee Young.  They covered  the old Southern Gospel quartet standard "Your First Day In Heaven". That of course, was the genesis of the group we now know as the Gaither Vocal Band.  To find the second significant reason, you have to look closely at the musical credits.  Listed among  the band members backing the Gaithers were the names of Billy Smiley, Mark Gersmehl, Dann Huff, and Gary Lunn.  If those names sound familiar, they should.

 Smiley and Huff had already began writing some songs together, and during 1980 and 81, and they began recording some of them at Gaither's Pinebrook Studio in Indiana, and Soundstage Studio in Nashville.  After pitching their work around to some artists and labels without adequate success, they decide to record them on their own. After recording a track called "Go Down Ninevah", they recruited Steve Green to join them. Other musicians contributing to the early sessions were established members of Petra, as well as drummer Dennis Holt, who would later go on to play for Kerry Livgren AD.  While the guys were glad to be in the studio recording together, they wanted to form a band, and so they added Gaither bandmates Gersmehl and Lunn to the lineup.  Missing only a full time drummer, Huff suggested bringing in his younger brother David to fill out the band.

The newly finished six piece unit hit the studios in Nashville to complete their debut album. The musical tracks they had already recorded were  redone, with the new members putting their respective parts in.  So when all was said and done, the new band had an album's worth of material, and were now in the process of shopping for a record deal. Some of them were also getting busy individually as well, mostly working in studios backing up other artists. Steve Green was beginning what would be a very successful career as a solo artist, as well as continuing to sing with the Gaither Vocal Band.  Both Huff brothers and Gary Lunn played on pop artist Greg Guidry's first album for CBS called "Over The Line", and Smiley and Gersmehl were developing a friendship that would prove fruitful for the duration of the band's existance.

Enter Chris Christian...the producing mogul had signed a deal with Word, Inc. for his Home Sweet Home production company, and after hearing some of the band's work, he signed them to a record contract.  Myrrh records picked up the release of White Heart's first album, with Christian serving as executive producer, and Dann Huff and Billy Smiley producing the LP. An eclectic mix of song styles, from straight up pop to rock, began causing comparisons between White Heart and another band of six studio musicians, known as Toto.  The band's first single, the power pop ballad Carry On, began playing on CCM radio, and White Heart was on their way.  As they continued to release singles and tour in support of their debut album, the members were still splitting their time between playing studios, solo work, and the newly formed band, but eventually White Heart would see its first personnel change, when Steve Green decided that he was not cut out to be the lead singer of a Christian Rock band, and so he left not just White Heart, but the Gaither Vocal Band as well, to devote his full energy to his solo career, a move which I'm sure he does not regret to this day.

As we all know, White Heart did rock on, for another decade and a half.  Along the way, there were TONS of members who came and went, and many different back stories that have emerged over the years.   Most of the original six members are still around working in music:  Dann Huff has became a music industry LEGEND, becoming one of L.A.s biggest studio guitarists of all time, then progressing on to again work with his brother David in their own rock band called Giant (if you haven't heard them, you really should), and he is now the most sought after country record producer in Nashville.  Gary Lunn still plays sessions in Music City, and his sensational bass playing can be heard on albums coming out today.  David Huff is CEO of DLH Productions, and works in artist development.  Of course, any CCM fan knows who Steve Green is, due to  a long string of hit albums and singles throughout the 80s.  Mark Gersmehl and Billy Smiley would stay to become the core of White Heart, writing hit after hit for the band until it disbanded in 1998, guiding the band through the ups and downs of its professional life, however  the two of them are still active musically today.  Gersmehl and his wife Brynn (who was a member of Rachel Rachel, and met Mark when they opened for White Heart) now have their own musical act named Soulbreather, and Billy Smiley recently teamed up with former Petra frontman John Schlitt to create The Union Of Sinners And Saints, who have an excellent debut album out there.

As for White Heart's debut, it is an excellent LP.  Even though not as heavy as some of the albums the band would release for Sparrow records in the late 80s and 90s, the debut has some terrific songs on it, from the pure pop opener Hold On, to the heavier, rocky bend of songs like Go Down Nineveh and You're The One, this has something for everyone's particular taste in music.  It even includes a duet that featured Dann Huff singing with an up and coming female vocalist named Sandi Patti (yes, the one and only).  The singles Carry On and He's Returning were both played in solid rotation on CCM radio, giving the band a foundation on which to begin their long and successful career, and it all started from that little live album by the Bill Gaither Trio.  Thanks Bill, Christian Rock fans owe you a HUGE debt of gratitude!

P.S...a massive "THANK YOU" to Billy Smiley for filling in some of the details!

TRACK LIST:

1. Hold On

2. You're The One

3. Listen To The Lonely

4. He's Returning

5. Carry On

6. Guiding Light

7. Everyday (duet with Sandi Patti)

8. Nothing Can Take This Love

9. Black Is White

10. Go Down Nineveh



back to list


Comments

Lisette Level commented on 06-Jul-2018 11:22 AM
Don’t wear seat belts lest you drown in your own urine?
cash for cars commented on 31-Aug-2018 05:31 PM
Some really good blog posts on this website, thanks for contribution. "My salad days, When I was green in judgment." by William Shakespeare.
cash for cars commented on 31-Aug-2018 05:33 PM
Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you've on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What an ideal web-site.
cash for cars commented on 31-Aug-2018 05:34 PM
I gotta favorite this porn gambling it seems extremely helpful very useful
cash for cars commented on 01-Sep-2018 04:18 AM
I’m not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs sex spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.
cash for cars commented on 01-Sep-2018 04:19 AM
I truly appreciate this post. I've been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You've made my day! Thanks again!
cash for cars commented on 01-Sep-2018 04:19 AM
Hey There. I found your poker using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure sex bookmark it and come back sex read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.
cash for cars commented on 01-Sep-2018 08:03 AM
I really like your writing style, great information, thank you for posting :D. "In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it." by Epictetus.
cash for cars commented on 01-Sep-2018 08:03 AM
Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was searching for! "Love endures only when the lovers love many things together and not merely each other." by Walter Lippmann.
brave frontier trial x1 commented on 28-Sep-2018 06:03 AM
Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss problem? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx
central london, harley street addiction counsellor commented on 15-Dec-2018 05:40 AM
Very good blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.
JustinBig commented on 28-Dec-2018 03:33 AM
Hello. I have checked your ccmclassic.com and i
see you've got some duplicate content so probably it is the reason that you
don't rank hi in google. But you can fix this issue fast.

There is a tool that creates articles like human, just search
in google: miftolo's tools
viagra online commented on 13-Jan-2019 04:42 AM
Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for
quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy
reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates. viagra online
The Ron Paul Liberty Report commented on 21-Jun-2019 10:50 AM
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke is assured he can efficiently convey a halt to the buying of mortgage backed securities that have helped steady the US housing market.

Congress appears to lack that confidence. The central bank may have to place a stop eventually to its stimulus programs earlier than there is a
wave of inflation because the restoration continues.
1.25 trillion price of real property debt.
Bernanke hopes that non-public traders will step in when the Fed places an end to its debt-purchasing program.
If they do not the Fed could come beneath strain to provide continued housing assistance and credit programs.
That stress would hinder the Fed's capability
in conducting independent financial policies. In a worst case scenario for the Fed, Congress could step
in and attempt to cease the Fed from selling their debt claiming
that a full restoration has not yet happened.
Several Congressman have already pressured Bernanke to help automotive firms and create more
credit score for commercial real property corporations.
Officials with the Fed declare the housing debt buying has lowered borrowing prices for homebuyers, offering
a spark to the portion of the financial system at the center of the
disaster.
betting & tipster script commented on 28-Oct-2019 07:48 PM
I know this web page provides quality dependent posts and additional data, is there any other website which offers these information in quality?
burung but but commented on 05-Nov-2019 11:46 AM
The Heart Beat At The Forefront of Classic CCM Music By Philip Mayabb http://ukblackcomedians.com/prediksi-togel-hongkong-hari-selasa-29-oktober-2019-jitu.html
Cherlyn Bears commented on 23-Nov-2019 07:52 AM
It's perfect time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it! [url="https://nbsincorp.com/marketing-packages.php"]local marketing expert[/url]
Suanne Macdaniel commented on 04-Dec-2019 12:13 AM
porn porn porn
먹튀 commented on 05-Dec-2019 09:54 AM
Don't think that even though oranges and orange juice are touted as healthy for the body that they are healthy for your personal jaws. The acid mother nature of this and associated foods begin sporting on your enamel right away. You might have them, but remember to brush right after consuming anything at all concerning large levels of oranges.
mobile legends hack pro gamers commented on 16-Dec-2019 12:39 AM
Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you're just extremely
great. I really like what you have acquired here, really
like what you're stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for
to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from
you. This is really a wonderful website.
mobile legends hack generator without human verification commented on 19-Dec-2019 04:00 AM
Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to understand this topic.

You understand so much its almost tough to argue with
you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).

You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been discussed for a
long time. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!
mobile legends hack damage commented on 20-Dec-2019 04:27 PM
Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I'll definitely digg it and personally suggest to
my friends. I'm confident they'll be benefited from this site.
mobile legends hack commented on 10-Mar-2020 05:16 AM
Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to
my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time
and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like
this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.
izzi commented on 02-Apr-2020 08:04 PM
Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
카지노 보너스 commented on 04-Apr-2020 01:03 AM
Best trees you can fine in Hawai !

Post a Comment





Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://ccmclassic.relevantmade.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=12861&PostID=1526282&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.