There is only one group in Christian music history, to my knowledge, to land a song on the Christian rock, adult contemporary, inspirational and southern gospel radio charts at the same time. That would be Petra with “The Coloring Song,” which was #1 on the first three charts and #5 on the last. The year was 1981 and the album was “Never Say Die”. Lead singer, Greg X. Volz, who had joined the group in 1979, brought the song with him from his former band.
Petra was founded in 1972 by guitarist Bob Hartman, the only member to remain with the band from its beginning to the end. Petra officially disbanded in 2006, though they have on occasion regrouped for a show or two.
During their tenure Petra released 20 studio albums, 2 live albums and 2 Spanish-language albums. They won 4 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and were the first rock band inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Their memorabilia was displayed at the Hard Rock Café chain, the first Christian band given that honor. They were the only Christian band to play at the 1992 Farm Aid concert. Five of their albums reached #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.
The band didn’t do many concept videos, though I did manage to find one. Here’s “Beyond Belief” from the 1990 album of the same name, featuring lead singer John Schlitt.
Arguably their biggest song, or at least the song that catapulted them to national attention, here’s “The Coloring Song” from the 1981 album “Never Say Die.”
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