Big Tent Revival was one of those bands who were known almost as well by their initials as their full name. Say “BTR” to anyone in the Christian music industry during the 1990s and they knew immediately who you were talking about.
The band was originally a trio with Steve Wiggins on vocals and guitar, Randy Williams on guitar and Spence Smith on drums. They were signed to their hometown Ardent Records in Memphis. They added bassist Rick Heil and David Alan on keyboards.
Each of the band’s first three albums earned Grammy nominations and yielded a handful of radio hits. BTR spend a couple of hundred days on the road each year and still managed to turn out four albums between 1995 and 1999. They split in 2000 and then reunited in 2012 to release “The Way Back Home,” a project that was funded through Kickstarter.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with them over the years, in radio studios, backstage at concerts and other industry functions. They photo to the left was taken in 1999 as they were promoting the “Choose Life” project and stopped by the studio to be a guest with me and my co-host at the time, Sheila Richards, on our morning show. Also in the studio that day was Rebecca St. James.
Here’s the video of “Choose Life” the title track from their 1999 album. It was the #15 for the year of 1999.
This is “Two Sets Of Jones’” from their self-titled 1995 debut album.
And from the 1997 album “Amplifier” here’s “What Would Jesus Do.”
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