Jonah, the Whale, and some Dirty Hippies

Bob Curlee & Ken Flowers
“Jonah & the Whale”
1970, Jonah Records

“JONAH AND THE WHALE washed up on the Panama City Beach in June of 1970 — and another miracle took place.  Armed with nothing but faith and a guitar — the cast set up a stage across from the Miracle Strip Amusement Park and presented the happy-go-lucky musical five nights a week.”

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Check his site for the full musical

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new vibrations


Tedd Smith with Ralph Carmichael & the Young People
“New Vibrations: a QUEST in folk rock”
Light/Word #LS-5561-LP

From the liner notes:

“I have written NEW VIBRATIONS with the intention of having it presented as a staged musical in churches, concert halls, high school auditoriums, etc.  The work presents two singers, a boy and a girl, asking each other questions, and sometimes offering possible answers, to the meaning of life.  The quest takes place through the medium of music and poetry.  The musical portion uses the two singers plus a chorus and folk-rock oriented instrumental group.  I have written the poetry as a sort of reflective introduction to each piece of music.

The work begins with the two characters hearing the sounds of life today and wondering what it’s all about.  Why is life?  A conversational quest develops through youth, marriage, parenthood, old age and comes full circle to the couple’s son who has the same questions.

It is my hope that NEW VIBRATIONS offers some shafts of light to the timeless quest that each has for the meaning of life.”

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The Christian Hippy Musical in its Purest Form


Ralph Carmichael & Kurt Kaiser
“Tell It Like It Is: A Folk Musical About God”
1970, Light (Word) # LS-5512-LP

From the liner notes: 
” I don’t pretend to know where it’s all going or where it will end.  I don’t have to know.  It’s not my responsibility to second guess trends, much less create them and propagate them.  But I do have a feeling that we have to stay relevant.  We’ve been told straight out to do that and Christ Himself set the example.  In TELL IT, we have assembled a conglomerate of sounds (rhythmic, chordal, melodic) that kids are accepting at the moment.  Who cares about “pure folk forms”?  If this album is pointed to in years to come as a pure form of anything we will have goofed pretty badly.”
  — Ralph Carmichael

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Ralph Carmichael is one of the best known composers of contemporary Christian music, as well as an arranger and writer for everyone from Nat King Cole to Elvis.  He now has a “big band gospel” group.

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A New Crop of Holy Joe’s

Ronald K. Wells
“I Wonder”
1969, Crescendo Music

Ah, the Christian musical… a reaction to the “new thinking” of the 1960′s and revisionist hippie musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar.  This one has some pretty great narration along with the tunes.  I think I’m going to raid the “Christan hippies” section of my record library to find a few more of these!

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